Having a baby is a joyful experience, isn’t it? Yeah, but not for everyone at least, not right away. For many mothers, bringing home a new baby could mean stress and exhaustion, as well as coping with a serious set of raging postpartum hormones throwing all of your emotions into hyperdrive. In other words, it’s totally normal to forget why you feel different from others during this time. So, here’s what you need to know about baby blues, from how they feel to what you can do.
What are Baby Blues?
In fact, about 80 percent of postpartum mothers have baby blues, which refer to a short period after giving birth that’s filled with anxiety, stress, and mood swings. That means 4 out of 5 new moms report experiencing them. So, the chances are very high and if you don’t have it, consider yourself really lucky!
Baby blues typically strike within a few days of giving birth. However, if you had an especially tough delivery, you might notice them even sooner. Though doctors can’t tell exactly what causes them, their timing tells us a lot. From shrinking the uterus back to its normal size to promoting lactation, your body has to go through extreme hormonal fluctuations to help you recover and also get ready to take care of your newborn baby. Those hormonal changes can also affect a postpartum mom’s state of mind. Another main reason could be the lack of sleep during the postpartum period. And, if you are a new mom, then you need to cope with all the changes in your routine and lifestyle that come with the new baby. All of these factors combine to pave the way for baby blues.
The Symptoms of Baby Blues
You can see the symptoms around 2 to 3 days after your baby is born. Most of the time, baby blues just disappear usually within 10 days. But, sometimes, it can last up to 14 days postpartum. And, note that different moms will experience baby blues differently from others. Generally, symptoms of the baby blues include:
- Feeling weepy or crying inexplicably over minor triggers
- Having mood swings or being especially irritable
- Feeling unattached or unbonded to your baby
- Missing your old life
- Worrying or feeling anxious about your baby’s health and safety
- Feeling restless or experiencing insomnia, even though you’re exhausted
- Having trouble making easy decisions or thinking clearly
What To Do
The answer simply is there’s no cure for that! Most moms find that as they adjust to their new life and settle into a routine with their baby, they begin to feel more like themselves. That said, the postpartum phase is tough. And, it’s important to take care of yourself as best you can. Finding things that make you feel better during this time of transition might help you get back to “normal” (or, at least, find your new normal) faster.
- Get as much sleep as you can. Sleep is a priceless commodity in your house right now. Try to sleep when your baby sleeps and put other things aside. Everything seems worse when you’re exhausted. Sometimes, sleeping is the best remedy!
- Ask for help. You have the option to let someone else do basically everything for you. That is the privilege of a mom! Also, there are usually people looking for ways to help out new mothers. So, when your parents or your friends come over and ask what they can do to help, give them a task. Whether it’s cooking meals, running errands, changing diapers, just don’t try to do it all yourself!
- Eat well and go outside sometimes. Well, this one doesn’t need much explanation. Feed your body nutritious foods and get some fresh air. It’s simple but effective!
- Talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a therapist, but if you have one, give them a call. Otherwise, chat with a family member or friend who understands you and doesn’t judge. Sometimes you just need to get stuff off your chest.
- Do something you love. If it feels like it would be easier to focus on what makes you happy right now, then just do it. Have an afternoon just for yourself to get the energy you need to take care of your child.
- Bond with your partner. It’s easy to lose track of the other person you’re in this new life with. So, trying to do something with your spouse can help you both feel connected and supported.
Baby blues are a common part of many new parents’ lives. Fortunately, they usually go away as quickly as the way they appear. However, if you’re still feeling sad or anxious after 2 weeks, or if your symptoms become worse, reach out to a family member, trusted friend, or healthcare provider right away. Because it can be a sign of postpartum depression. While baby blues are normal and short-lived, postpartum depression needs to be treated immediately. If you have any questions or just simply want to share your story with other moms, let us know in the comments!