The Baby Blues

Bringing your newborn baby home after the birth is no doubt one of the most memorable occasions in your life, but it also brings with it a monster emotional roller-coaster, thanks to hormones and lack of sleep.

The “baby blues” appear (appropriately) out of the blue, bringing on unexpected sadness and irritability, bouts of crying, restlessness, and anxiety. Unexpected because isn’t having a baby supposed to make you happy, not miserable?

They’re really common and can happen a few days after after giving birth.  You might cry and not really know why you’re crying.

All of these emotions are normal and it’s important to know that they in no way reflect upon your ability to be a good mum (because you are a fantastic Mum), and you also shouldn’t be ashamed if you do feel this way.  There are many factors that contribute to the baby blues such as hormones, tiredness and the responsibility of a brand new little person’s life.

These blues will fade over the next couple of weeks, as you adjust to your new life, and start getting a little more rest (or, more realistically, begin functioning more effectively on little to no sleep).

In the meantime, try the following tips to get through the baby blues:

  • Keep busy and remember to eat and rest properly.
  • Don’t be afraid to confide in your partner and other family members about how overwhelmed you’re feeling and ask them for help if you need it. Nobody will think you’re any less capable as a mum and they’ll be able to help you through your feelings.
  • Eating and drinking enough is a huge help as it’s easy to neglect yourself when you’re so busy with a new baby, but you’ll do a better job of looking after your baby if you look after yourself!
  • Treat yourself! To a movie, a dinner date with your partner (and it doesn’t have to be in a restaurant just order in),go get your nails done, or even a nice long hot bath! Occasionally make yourself (and not baby care or housework) a priority. You deserve it!

The good news is the baby blues usually only last a few days, often disappearing as quickly as they started, and some people don’t get them at all.  If you do get the baby blues, remind yourself that they are only temporary and you’ll soon be feeling better.

Although the baby blues do not usually require any medical help, if you feel depressed and it’s lasting longer than a few days, or you feel like the problem is getting worse, it’s a good idea to speak to your GP.

Happier times are just around the corner!