Baby blues, or the sad feeling many mums feel after having a baby, is one of the most curious syndromes related to giving birth.
Having a baby is a fascinating experience in a woman's life, but it is also emotionally complex. As odd as it may sound, the happiness of welcoming a newborn often crashes into an unexpected sadness that makes new mums sink into despair. That's exactly what it is commonly known as baby blues, a mild form of postpartum depression.
If you are getting close to your due date, you may want to know all the information regarding baby blues symptoms and how to overcome them. Don't let it ruin the wonderful moment that you've been dreaming about for so long.
What is baby blues?
To be more precise, baby blues is described as the mild postnatal depression that appears within your first four or five days as a mum. You can go from smiling at your precious newborn to feeling frustrated or anxious in just a minute. If you snap and your mood swings repeatedly, don't be surprised or feel guilty at all. More than 70% of 'novice' mothers experience baby blues symptoms, so it's very normal.
Why does it happen?
Though there isn't a clear explanation, experts think that mums suffer from baby blues because of hormonal changes in their bodies. Yes, they are the ones to blame again! As you know, hormones are responsible for the annoying pregnancy symptoms, but changes keep occurring once your little one is out of the womb. Your hormone levels will drop and there will also be a readjustment that will provoke some chemical variations in your brain. Plus, after giving birth, women feel completely exhausted, and that has an additional impact on their bodies.
How can we distinguish it from postnatal depression?
Although it's part of postnatal depression, it is important to distinguish baby blues from postnatal depression (PPD) itself. The timing can help us a lot in this case, since it's a matter of how long the weepiness and the gloomy mood last. As said previously, baby blues makes its appearance during the first days of becoming a parent. If sadness doesn't decrease by week three after birth and you experience disregard towards your baby, then you could be experiencing postpartum depression—especially if you already have a history of depression or it runs in your family. If this happens, seek professional help.
In case you need extra help to identify baby blues, these are some of its most common symptoms:
- Crying and weeping
What do I do?
Even if it's a minor depression, you will need some help to get over the baby blues symptoms. Here's a list of useful advice to face it the best way possible:
- Don't keep it to yourself. Explain your feelings to your partner and relatives.
- Being aware of what baby blues is and understanding that it's normal should give you some relief.
- Keep track of your thoughts and symptoms, and try to analyse them. Get rid of irrational fears!
- Get some help to take care of the baby and make sure you have physical and emotional breaks. Even taking a short walk can make your day better in a situation like this.
- Think of the baby and his needs. Remember what you've gone through together, when he was inside your womb, and how marvellous it is now to hold him in your arms.
- Follow a balanced diet. Avoid having too many carbohydrates, which tend to trigger mood swings.