Baby Blues 101

Is it normal to feed sad after the birth of my baby?

It is common for many women to feel sad or moody soon after giving birth due to hormonal changes. Understand that these feelings are normal during the first couple weeks after childbirth and are temporary.

What causes postpartum depression?

After birth, your body goes through a number of changes. Your hormone levels drop and your breasts become enlarged with milk. A feeling of complete exhaustion may accompany these physical effects, which makes the baby blues even worse.

Having a baby can bring big changes to your life, and these changes can be overwhelming. It is normal for moms to feel overwhelmed and baby blues are common in the first two weeks following baby’s birth. As many as 80% of women will have baby blues. Some symptoms include tearfulness, impatience, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, and sadness. Symptoms should gradually improve over the next couple weeks. You should still want to take care of your baby. Remember to get plenty of rest and allow yourself to heal from delivery. Don’t expect perfection—you need to learn how to soothe baby, and help get baby on a schedule. If symptoms last longer than two weeks or worsen, you may have postpartum depression.

What can I do to cope with the baby blues?

Vent when you need it, seek support from friends and family, and be patient. As sleep deprivation makes these feelings worse, try your best to rest whenever possible. Nap when your baby naps, and reach out for help when you need it.

Things You Can Do

Being a good mom means taking care of yourself. If you take care of yourself, you can take better care of your baby and your family.

  • Get support from family and friends. When family and friends ask if you need anything, take them up on their offer to help. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  • Take time for yourself while someone else watches baby, and do something you find enjoyable or relaxing, such as taking a bath, reading a book, or shopping with friends.
  • Keep active by getting outside, taking a walk and stretching.
  • Get enough rest. Even if you can’t sleep when baby sleeps, at least rest and take a break. Don’t spend your time on chores.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Drink plenty of fluids, especially if breastfeeding.
How can I help a friend or family member cope with the baby blues?

Reassure that while baby blues are overwhelming, they are normal and they will pass. Listen to her and encourage her to cry if she needs to. Support her, help keep her as stress free as possible, and insist that she gets plenty of rest.

How do I know if what I’m feeling is baby blues or postpartum depression?

If you continue to feel this way after the first few weeks following childbirth, call your doctor or midwife for help. If you or your family has a history of depression, reach out to others and seek professional help.