You just had a baby! Yay!
Excited, overjoyed, nervous and possibly overwhelmed are just a few of the feelings running through your blood at this moment!
Then before you know it, you’re crying….Wait, what?
Well Mama, that’s most likely the Baby Blues! And they are NORMAL!!
Straight to the point, What are the baby blues?
The baby blues have been described as short term sadness or mood swings days after having a new baby. Not necessarily towards your new baby, just….. sadness overall.
The American Pregnancy Association has found that 70-80% of mama’s experience the baby blues!
That is A LOT of mama’s!! So, if you ever feel that you are alone during these hard days… You’re Not!!
There are so many other moms that are experiencing much like you are! Remember that the baby blues are a normal response to the bodies changes and is NOT considered a severe medical condition. So no, you’re not mental!
Also, the baby blues don’t always hit after the first baby. The baby blues can actually come about after ANY pregnancy. 2nd, 5th or 1st baby.
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What Causes the Baby Blues?
The blues have come down to mainly hormone changes, although there are extreme physical and emotional changes that come about after having a baby, that all play a role as well.
Your body physically changes DRASTICALLY and QUICKLY after delivering a baby. Within seconds after delivering your baby, your body starts changing.
One major hormone, estrogen, drops nearly 100 fold in the first three days after giving birth. Then you experience your breasts become engorged as your new milk is coming in, throwing your hormones in a frenzy as well. And to top it off, your body is exhausted from labor and delivery!
And that’s not all!
Emotionally, the thoughts of keeping your baby safe and well, adjusting to a new routine, producing enough breast milk and let’s not forget, thoughts of Mama-hood for the rest of your life.
Each of these thoughts can be daunting by themselves, but put them together and it can become extremely overwhelming to some.
How long do the baby blues last?
Not very long, thankfully! The baby blues normally last about two weeks. They usually come about 2 to 3 days post delivery, which weirdly enough coincides with the mother arriving home with the new baby.
If you notice you are still having these sad feelings after two weeks or if you’ve noticed that they have developed into deeper feelings, this could be PPD (Post Partum Depression).
Baby Blues Vs. Post Partum Depression
The baby blues have been considered a risk factor or a form of PPD, just to a much lesser degree. There are plenty of symptoms that are alike in both conditions, although some that are very different. Knowing the difference between baby blues & PPD is something very well to understand when that two week post delivery mark comes about.
Symptoms of Baby Blues:
- Crying with no specific reason
Symptoms of PPD
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Poor concentration
- Low self-esteem
- Feeling of no connection with your baby, loved ones or friends
If you experience any of these feelings for longer than two weeks after giving birth or having thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please seek professional help immediately.
There is NO SHAME Mama’s! Remember, you are not alone! Both the baby blues & PPD are very common!
What you can do to feel better
I’m reluctant to say, there’s not much we can do to avoid the baby blues on the hormone side of things specifically. As our hormones are going to change (with or without our consent!) and it’s just a normal part of the post-birth experience.
Enjoy the ride Mama!
Although, there are some things that you can do to stay on top of the blues. These outlets won’t necessarily keep you from getting the baby blues, but they can help you manage feelings and not feeling “stuck” or getting too “overwhelmed”.
Staying On Top of The Baby Blues:
Keep working on positive thoughts and reminders.
Try to look on the bright side and remind yourself of all the good things that are before you. Sometimes, reading motivational quotes can help. I personally like to print a few out that really speak to me and post them on the bathroom mirror or make one the background on my phone.
Talk to friend
(that just listens!) or another mom, because well… we get it! If you’ve been a mom, you understand how hard it can be! And you don’t have any mom friends, try consoling in that friend that you know will really just listen to you.
If they are a true friend, you don’t need to worry about bothering them with your unhappy side. Sometimes just saying things out loud to someone else can help you figure things out yourself.
Write in a journal to help with expression and release.
I personally have a journal that has motivational quotes throughout it, so it’s not just blank pages. It gives me something else to focus on or makes me think differently about an issue.
Join a mom group
Or two! You’ll see that you are not the only Mama experiencing these feelings or thoughts. Plus the nice thing about everything being online is that you have kind of an “anonymous” place to ask a question if needed!
Mama Groups are generally judgement free zones, so ask away! And since many other moms are asking questions in the groups, you may notice that you find new information from others asking their questions. There are a ton of groups that you can follow on Facebook or Twitter!
Need I say more? Now, this nap that we speak of may be short lived depending on your work, home & kids schedule but sometimes even a 10 minute session where you close your eyes, can jump start a whole new you.
We seem to live in this go-go-go type world that moms are never suppose to stop and breath.
But honestly, it’s not do-able nor enjoyable to some extent if you ask me!
I have even parked the car and reclined my seat back for 10 minutes just to close my eyes and catch my breath!
Then on the weekends you can work in those family naps! Now doesn’t that sound lovely?!
Let’s put this out there right away, please check with your healthcare provider or doctor and obtain permission prior to doing this one point. The reason I say this is because the baby blues happen 2-3 days after delivery and can last up to 2 weeks.
Most providers & OB’s don’t even clear individuals for 3 to 6 weeks at minimum. So ask your provider what you can do during this time to stay active to help balance your hormones without hurting yourself.
Even a slow 10 minute walk can help you clear your head of much built up anxiousness. You can even take the baby with you and maybe you’ll both be able to nap when you get back then!
You can even get your FREE Monthly Fitness Calendar that I think you would love! With this you get a new fitness routine to work on every month, which I offer modifications for every exercise so not matter what fitness level you are at, you can keep yourself active and healthy! Sign up for your FREE Fitness Calendar and get your fitness flowing today!!
Healthy Well-Balance Meals.
We tend to get caught up in the business of taking care of our new little one, but taking care of yourself is essential right from the start. What goes through us gets passed on to our children. Whether we like it or not!
Eating unhealthy can really alter your hormones more than you would probably imagine. So being consistent with eating steadily through the days to keep your energy levels up and hormones in check, is a must!
I do have to say, if you have anyone offering to make you meals for when your child arrives or even after your child arrives, take it! There is no shame in accepting their offer whatsoever! Plus, you can always return the favor at a later time.
The Take Away
If there is one thing you take from this article, please be it that you are not alone and that you CAN get through the baby blues!
Don’t get discouraged if you do find yourself having the baby blues or if you find yourself seeing more symptoms of PPD. This is a natural happening with postpartum!
There are many different ways that you can help yourself through the baby blues. Maybe one works for you or maybe you need to do three different routes of action, that’s alright! Do whatever you need to do to make yourself happy and your babies happy!
Please feel free to comment below on other outlets that worked for you if you went through the baby blues or PPD! I love to hear from other Mama’s.
Remember, we are in this together!
“It takes a village to raise a child”
You got this Mama!