Postpartum Baby Blues
Having a baby is usually one of the biggest and most exciting events in a women's life. While caring for a new baby can be joyful and rewarding, it can also be hard and stressful at times. There are many physical and emotional changes that can happen to you after delivery.
These changes can leave some new mothers feeling sad, anxious, afraid, or confused. These feelings are generally referred to as “baby blues”.
Many new mothers (60% to 80%) experience the “baby blues” in the days right after childbirth. The “baby blues” typically peak 3 to 5 days after delivery and can last a few hours or days; usually, they resolve within 10 days after childbirth. If these feelings do not go away or get worse, a woman may have postpartum depression.
If you are concerned about the severity or duration of your “baby blues,” please call our office to schedule an appointment to discuss any of these issues.
What are the “Baby Blues”?
The “baby blues” are characterized by:
- Mood swings
- Feelings of vulnerability
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of confidence
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling overwhelmed
Ways to Help Yourself Cope
There are things that you can do to help yourself get through the “baby blues”:
- Rest! Always try to nap when the baby naps.
- You're not expected to be a “supermom”. Stop putting pressure on yourself to do everything; be realistic and ask other people to help.
- Find someone to talk to and tell them how you’re feeling
- Do not spend a lot of time alone. Get dressed and try to get outdoors everyday to take a walk or run an errand.
- Try and do something for yourself everyday (reading, exercising, taking a bath or meditating).
- Spend time alone with your husband or partner.
- Talk with your health care provider about how you feel and medical treatment.
Your postpartum period may be filled with various different emotions. Just remember that there will be a period of adjustment as a new mother and it is normal to feel sadness, fear, anger and/or anxiety after having your baby. This does not mean that you have failed as a mother.
Remember, too, that every woman and every pregnancy is unique. You may experience these feelings to a greater or lesser extent than your mother or your sister, or to a greater or lesser extent than at the birth of another of your babies.
However, if the “baby blues” do not go away after a week or two, you need to contact your provider about postpartum depression. Prompt treatment can help you return to normal soon. Please call 614-268-8800 to schedule an appointment to discuss any of these issues.
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