The Baby Blues
Between 50% and 80% of all new mothers experience what is known as the "baby blues." Because the baby blues are so common, it is not classified as a postpartum mood disorder. But the feelings a woman may experience during the baby blues may still cause her worry.
What Are The Baby Blues?
After hearing for nine months how wonderful and magical it is to give birth, it is not surprising that you may find yourself feeling a bit sad and let down after the birth. The baby blues generally show up three to four days after you give birth. Within two weeks, the feelings of sadness should disappear on their own. Symptoms may appear quite suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, but they can also disappear just as quickly.
Signs of the Baby Blues
Symptoms of the baby blues are generally mild and can include:
- Mood Swings
Why The Baby Blues Happen
This mild form of postpartum depression is usually attributed to the sudden, quick change in your hormones. The emotional and physical stress of giving birth along with any general physical discomfort you may be experiencing can also contribute to you feeling a bit down for the first few weeks after birth.
Many new mothers tend to have an increased sense of anxiety because of the new responsibility a baby brings with him. Not surprisingly, this anxiety can have a negative impact on your mood. The fatigue and lack of sleep that affects all new mothers only serves to compound the problem. You may also be disappointed if you’re having troubles nursing or your partner isn’t helping out as much as you would like.
Chasing Those Blues Away
The baby blues often disappear one their own. However, here are some things you can do to help ease the symptoms and help yourself feel better, sooner.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet
- Join a support group for new mothers
- Make time each day to do something you enjoy
- Give yourself a change of scenery by meeting with a friend for a cup of coffee or enjoy an evening out on the town with your partner
- Talk with your partner about dividing up the parenting responsibilities so you don’t feel like you are doing everything by yourself
Do I Need Help?
The baby blues are not a serious disorder and generally go away on their within two weeks. However, if your symptom last for more than two weeks or your depression interferes with your daily activities, make an appointment with your health care provider. You could be suffering from postpartum depression. If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, seek medical attention immediately. You may want to read more on postpartum depression if you are feeling panicked and overly anxious or are extremely worried about your baby and are obsessed with doing some activities repetitively.
Have you been dealing with the baby blues? Visit Pregnancy Stories to share your experience and help other women in their postpartum period also adjusting to having a new baby.
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