What are the ‘baby blues’?
The ‘baby blues’ is used to describe a period after your baby is born when you may experience changes in your mood. Changes may occur where you are happy for a few minutes and sad shortly after, without knowing the cause. Baby blues is the most common and least serious emotional and mental health condition after delivery. It can affect up to 80% of mothers.
What are the symptoms of ‘baby blues’?
Symptoms of baby blues may include:
- Feeling tearful and sad
- Feeling anxious and irritable
- Having a “low” mood
- Feeling unwell
- Having difficulty sleeping
When do the ‘baby blues’ occur?
The symptoms of ‘baby blues’ may occur within 4 to 5 days after the delivery. Depending on
how your delivery went, it is not uncommon for symptoms to occur earlier.
What causes the ‘baby blues’?
The exact cause of the ‘baby blues’ is unknown. Doctors believe ‘baby blues’ may be related to the hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and again after your baby is born.
The amount of change that comes after the birth of a baby, along with sleep disturbance, disruption of “routine” and emotions from the childbirth experience may contribute to how a new mother feels.
How long do the ‘baby blues’ last?
Symptoms may last for 1 or 2 days and up to 2 weeks. The symptoms of the ‘baby blues’ may occur for a few minutes up to a few hours each day. Symptoms should decrease and disappear within 14 days after delivery.
How is the baby blues treated?
The ‘baby blues’ usually goes away within a few days without treatment. If symptoms do not go away, it may be a sign of something more serious like depression or anxiety. If symptoms do not go away, please talk to your doctor.
How can you take care of yourself?
Taking care of yourself is the best way to decrease the symptoms of the ‘baby blues’. Here are some different ways that you can care for yourself if you have the ‘baby blues’.
- Talk with someone that you trust about your feeling
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Having a new baby may cause you not to eat correctly, and too many simple carbohydrates can increase mood swings
- Get outside to enjoy fresh air. Sometimes just a different view for a few moments can make a difference
- Ask for help! Help with meals, other children, getting into a “routine”, or any help that allows you to focus on the joy of having a new baby and not just the pressure of managing everything
- Give yourself time to heal from birth, to adjust to your role as a mother. Allow time for feeding and sleeping routines to become normal
Sidra Medicine cares about your health. The information in this leaflet should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and the advice of your doctor. Ask your healthcare provider about this information if you have questions. You can find us on www.sidra.org