Baby blues

In the early days following birth, women may experience a temporary condition commonly known as ‘the baby blues’.

The baby blues usually occur between the third to the fifth day after having your baby, and can leave you feeling very distressed and/or emotional. Often women describe feeling very teary, or sometimes irritable. These overwhelming feelings are completely normal and natural, and are due to the sudden change in your hormone levels following the birth.

I didn’t get the baby blues with my first child, but I did with my second. I remember it was my last day in hospital and I felt so emotional and upset about everything. I couldn’t stop crying and was looking for reasons why I was so upset.

The baby blues is very common. Up to 80 percent of women experience this, and you may experience the condition with one child but not another. They will usually disappear within a few days, and there is generally no need for any treatment other than understanding, rest and support.

However, if these symptoms do not pass on their own and continue on, it may be a sign of another type of mental health condition like postnatal depression or postnatal anxiety, in which case it is important to seek help.

My worries didn’t start until I got home really, while in hospital I had the classic baby blues symptoms but they never really seemed to go away entirely.

Too often women delayed seeking help for what was postnatal depression and or anxiety, because they thought it was simply the baby blues, and that it would go away on it’s own. The faster you seek advice about this and if there is a need for treatment, the faster you will be able to get on top of this, which is important for you and your family.

 

See also…

Adjusting to parenthood

Pregnancy support counselling