Postpartum Euphoria: A Primer
Most people have at least heard of postpartum depression, but far fewer are aware of postpartum euphoria, also referred to as postpartum hypomania or “the baby pinks.” However, it is a serious mental health issue that can eventually result in postpartum psychosis. Often initially perceived as “super moms” who are energized and can function for long periods without rest, sufferers also exhibit impulsive and sometimes manic behavior, experience racing thoughts and struggle to concentrate. Many moms are not even aware that the disorder exists, and therefore struggle to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, Neuropsychiatry magazine explains that as many as 10% of new moms experience some form of postpartum hypomania.
In addition, the British Journal of Psychiatry states that the baby pinks is often followed by a period of depression and can evolve into mild bipolar disorder over time. Although it is not clear what postpartum euphoria, it’s a scientific fact that pregnancy causes physiological and hormonal changes that can cause suffering and behavior changes. In addition, the physical and emotional demands of caring for a baby can be very trying, and potentially contribute to post-pregnancy mental health issues.
So called baby pinks, or postpartum euphoria, can start at child birth and then last up to six weeks or more. However, Dana Elborno, an OB-GYN Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, states that most cases of postpartum euphoria last for a few days. It’s important that women are aware that the condition exists and seek help from a doctor or other healthcare provider if it lasts longer.
Stanford Medicine recommends a number of ways to deal with insomnia, including exercise, avoidance of electronic devices close to bedtime, and even cognitive therapy. Relaxation exercises and potentially medications can also be helpful to deal with insomnia.
Postpartum hypomania can be particularly painful and serious for individuals who already experience mental health issues. This is because the symptoms are compounded by the pre-existing condition. If this is the case then sufferers should seek medical care from their doctor or obtain a referral to a psychiatrist.