You just had a baby! Yay!
Excited, overjoyed, nervous and possibly overwhelmed are just a few of the feelings running through your blood at this moment!
Then before you know it, you’re crying….Wait, what?
Well Mama, that’s most likely the Baby Blues! And they are NORMAL!!
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Straight to the point, What are the baby blues?
The baby blues have been described as short term sadness or mood swings days after having a new baby. Not necessarily towards your new baby, just….. sadness overall.
The American Pregnancy Association has found that 70-80% of new mama’s experience the baby blues!
What Causes the Baby Blues?
The blues have come down to mainly hormone changes although there are extreme physical and emotional changes that come about after having a baby, that all play a role.
Your body physically changes DRASTICALLY and QUICKLY after delivering a baby.
Your hormone, estrogen, drops nearly 100 fold in the first three days after giving birth. Your breasts become engorged as your new milk is coming in, throwing your hormones in a frenzy and your body is exhausted from labor and delivery.
And that’s not all!
Emotionally, the thoughts of keeping your baby safe and well, adjusting to a new routine and now the thoughts of Mama-hood for the rest of your life.
Each of these can be daunting, but put them together and it can become extremely overwhelming.
How long do the baby blues last?
Not very long, about two weeks is the normal range. It usually starts when the mother arrives home with the new baby, so usually 2 or 3 days post delivery.
If you notice you are still having these sad feelings after two weeks or if they have developed into more, this could be PPD (Post Partum Depression).
Baby Blues Vs. Post Partum Depression
The baby blues have been considered a risk factor or a form of PPD, just to a much lesser degree.
Symptoms of Baby Blues:
- Crying with no specific reason
Symptoms of PPD
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Poor concentration
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling of no connection with your baby, loved ones or friends
If you experience these feelings for longer than two weeks after giving birth or having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please seek professional help imediately.
What you can do to feel better
I’m reluctant to say, there’s not much we can do to avoid the baby blues, as our hormones are going to change (with or without our consent!) and it’s a normal part of the post-birth experience.
Enjoy the ride Mama!
Although, there are some things you can do to stay on top of the blues:
- Keep working on positive thoughts and reminders. Look on the bright side and remind yourself of all the good things that are before you.
- Talk to friend (that just listens!)
- Write in a journal to help with expression and release.
- Join a mom group or two. You’ll see that you are not the only Mama experiencing these feelings or thoughts. Plus you have kind of an “anonymous” place to ask a question if needed! Mama Groups are generally judgement free zones, so ask away!!
- Naps. Need I say more?
- Exercise (please check with your healthcare provider or doctor and obtain permission prior to doing this one) Even a 10 minute walk can help you clear your head of much built up anxiousness. You can even take the baby with you and maybe you’ll both be able to nap when you get back then!
- Healthy well-balance meals. We tend to get caught up in the business of taking care of our new little one, but taking care of yourself is essential right from the start.
If there is one thing you take from this article, please be it that you are not alone and that you CAN get through the baby blues!
You got this Mama!