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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.
Contact the Maternal and Child Health Section
Maternal and Child Health Section
4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin A13
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1721
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For Every Newborn, There is One Mother
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- Taking Care of Yourself after Baby Comes
- The “Baby Blues” and Postpartum Depression
Right now, you are focused on caring for your new baby. But as a new mother, you must take special care of your body after giving birth and while breastfeeding, too. Doing so will help you regain your energy and strength. When you take care of yourself, you are able to best care for and enjoy your baby.
For tips on taking care of yourself after birth follow the links below:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusively breastfeeding for 6 months with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer. Babies who are not breastfed and women who do not breastfeed can have more health problems than babies who are breastfed and women who breastfeed. A few of the possible problems that can occur are:
Infants who are not breastfed are at higher risk of obesity, diabetes, asthma, and ear infections. These infants also may have more learning problems. These problems can occur during childhood and/or adulthood.
Mothers who do not breastfeed have higher stress levels and are more likely to be overweight. They also are at higher risk of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer; type 2 diabetes; osteoporosis; and rheumatoid arthritis.
To learn more about breastfeeding, visit:
Many new mothers experience the “baby blues.” In fact, up to 80 percent of mothers experience the “baby blues” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. “Baby blues” commonly includes mood swings, crying spells and feelings of worry, sadness and tiredness. These feelings are mild and go away on their own within one to two weeks.
Postpartum depression is associated with more severe, long lasting feelings of depression. Postpartum depression occurs in about 15 percent of women after childbirth (National Institute of Mental Health website, n.d.).
Postpartum depression is not a character flaw or a weakness. If you have postpartum depression, seek help from your OB, nurse midwife or healthcare provider.
Contact your provider right away if your symptoms last longer than two weeks, if your symptoms get worse, if you are having trouble caring for your baby or doing daily tasks, or if you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby. The faster you receive treatment, the faster you can enjoy your new baby.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or thinking of suicide, get help quickly.
- Call your doctor.
- Call 911 for emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.
- Call the toll-free 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889).
For more information on postpartum depression, visit: