You’ve just brought your healthy, beautiful baby home from the hospital. She’s everything you imagined and THEN some, a perfect blend of love and innocence. This should be the happiest moment of your life. There’s so much love and support in your home from family and friends.
But for some reason, it seems like you’re the only one who doesn’t feel happy. Everyone around you is excited about the baby and this new chapter in your life except you. But not to worry! If you are experiencing this, you have a very common case of what is known as the baby blues.
If you’re feeling down in the dumps, you are among the 70-80% of new mothers who experience negative mood swings after the birth of their child, according to the American Pregnant Association. These feelings usually begin to occur within 4-5 days after birth and are expected to go away within fourteen days after delivery.
Signs and Symptoms
Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Crying uncontrollably or for no apparent reason
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Trouble connecting with baby or spouse
The “Blues” is unpreventable
If you’re pregnant, don’t fret about how to avoid the blues…it’s caused by natural changes in the body. During labor, the body goes through traumatic changes. The hormones and chemical balances of your body shift and you will certainly undergo physical changes that may be hard initially to embrace. These are all unavoidable causes that could lead to this mild form of depression.
Self-care should be a priority during this time
Talk it out! The best way to keep your emotions at bay is to not bottle them up inside and pretend as though everything is okay. Don’t keep these feelings and emotions to yourself. Know and understand that you are not the only person feeling this way. Vent to your significant other or a trusted friend about these new feelings.
Maintain a balanced diet. While it is super beneficial to eat healthy before and after your pregnancy. Fueling your body with the nutrients it so desperately needs can significantly impact your mood. It can be easy to load up on comfort foods when you’re feeling down but excess carbs, fat, and sugar could worsen your mood swings.
Get plenty of rest. If you have help from a spouse, a mom, or another family member, allow them to take over periodically so that you can rest. You just created a whole human, your body needs time to recover! Give your body time to adjust to your new, “super job” as a mommy.
Find comfort in knowing that these feelings will shortly pass, and soon enough, you will enjoy the miracle of motherhood.
If your mood swings don’t go away or if they get worse, here are some resources:
In the U.S.: Call the PSI Helpline at 1-800-944-4773
In other countries: Find Local Support and Help