I’m sure you’ve heard of Postpartum Depression (PPD), and maybe even Postpartum Anxiety (PPA). But have you heard of Baby Blues? I certainly hadn’t, and when I experienced them, it hit me like a ton of bricks. For a while there, I thought I was the only one. I thought something was wrong with me. I wondered if I was going into depression. After some research, I knew what I was feeling.
• Overwhelming Emotions
Baby Blues are unlike PPD/PPA because it happens almost immediately following birth. I realized it about five days postpartum after the initial doctor checks, and I was home with my baby. All-day I was happy, all night I was happy, but when I would get a shower and look down to see a missing baby bump, I would cry. Not a few tears rolling down your cheeks kind of a cry, but more like an uncontrollable sob that had me sitting on the floor in my shower.
Did you know 70% – 80% of new moms experience Baby Blues, but only 10% – 20% experience clinical PPD? It’s an outrageously large number for something to be discussed so little. After giving birth, hormone levels drop drastically and then change again once the milk production begins. Honestly, the first two weeks of postpartum is incredibly challenging for a woman’s body. Stress, plus the new responsibilities of a baby and lack of sleep, can make a new mommy worry her emotions are a sign that something BIG is wrong – don’t freak out! It’s easy to say, but challenging to do, but you have to. Baby Blues are NORMAL, and they go away!
Common Baby Blues Symptoms
• Negative or Excessively Sad Feelings
• Mood Swings
• Uncontrollable Crying
• Poor Concentration
Information on the internet, and sometimes even from your doctor, can be confusing. No one knows why Baby Blues occur. Speculation concludes it’s from the disruption of your previous life and the emptiness of your uterus that had become accustomed to sharing life. The origin doesn’t matter. What matters is you understand these emotions are a normal part of the fourth trimester. Unlike PPD/PPA, these symptoms can last a few minutes to a few hours each day, BUT the good news is they disappear roughly two weeks after delivery!!!
Helping Yourself During The Blues
There isn’t much you can do to handle the Blues other than to embrace them. If you feel like crying, cry. If you’re feeling all over the place, breathe and remind yourself it’ll pass. Make a note of when you first felt “off” and mark 14 days from that date. Get your meals delivered – don’t be afraid to splurge on where you order from too. Eating something delicious from your pre-baby life will release happy endorphins. Have other children? If at all possible, have them see the grandparents for one or two weeks – leaving after the first few days with the new baby, so they don’t feel shunned. Then you have a little less to worry about, and a bit more time for your body to adjust.
Having a baby is an incredible high, but the aftermath can be a steep drop. You’re not alone in anything you might be feeling. As my mother always says,