You needn't give birth to get the "baby blues." Moms who adopt may have similar emotions.
Although there are no post-pregnancy hormonal changes, caring for any new child can be emotionally intense and physically exhausting. Adoptive moms may also have unresolved emotions over infertility or a letdown after many months of anticipation -- yet be reluctant to admit it, for fear of an unsympathetic response, says June Bond, executive director of Adoption Advocacy of South Carolina, in Spartansburg. "They've just fulfilled their dream of becoming a parent and their feelings can't be attributed to hormones, so they may not seek -- or get -- the help they need," says Bond, an adoptive mom of four who's experienced the baby blues herself. What can help:
- Turn to your family or a good friend, try a support group, or seek out a health care professional.
- Talk to another adoptive parent, or with your caseworker.
- Consider a parenting class, especially if you feel overwhelmed by everyday stresses.
- If symptoms persist, speak to your doctor, who can recommend the best treatment for you.