What Is Baby Blues: Information About Pregnancy
The baby blues and postnatal depression affect large numbers of women who have recently had babies. Although most women will get over the baby blues within a day or two, postnatal depression can affect women for many months.
Signs of The Baby Blues
Symptoms of the baby blues are generally mild and can include:
- Mood Swings
When Someone You Know Has The Baby Blues
Partners, friends, and relatives: The best thing you can do is reassure the new mother that many women feel this way after giving birth. She’s exhausted, she’s unsure of herself, and, if it’s her first child, she’s never done any of this before. No wonder she feels overwhelmed!
Just listen to her. Encourage her to cry if she needs to. Tell her what a wonderful job she’s doing. Keep visitors to a minimum. Take phone messages for her. Tell her she doesn’t have to send out thank-you cards now. Make dinner for her. Help her create a schedule and set priorities – things that must be done versus things that can wait.
Give her permission to take care of herself, too. Insist that she rest as much as possible, and volunteer to watch the baby while she naps. Above all, let her know you’re there for her no matter what.
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.