The baby blues isn’t the stuff of myth or legend. It’s a real thing and super common too. Here’s everything you need to know about the blues and how to cope.
What are the baby blues?
The blues are feelings of sadness or moodiness that you may start to feel soon after giving birth.
The blues can make you feel quite strange and very out of sorts. And it’s no wonder really – you’ve been waiting months (sometimes years) to finally meet your precious darling and now you can’t stop crying or snapping at your partner.
Who is affected?
The blues affect more than 80% of women and birthing people after they give birth.
What causes the blues?
The exact cause of the blues is unknown but hormone fluctuation definitely plays a role. Certain hormones, like oxytocin (the love hormone), which help your body to kickstart start labour and give birth, take a massive nosedive once baby has arrived.
Add in the exhaustion of physically recovering from giving birth, sleep deprivation and the overall shock that ‘OMG you just had a baby’, and we would say it’s more than fair that you’re feeling a little weepy.
When do the blues kick in?
The blues usually kick in around day 2 or 3 after giving birth. It can often coincide with when your milk comes in.
What to look out for when the blues hit…
- Feeling tearful without really knowing why.
- Feeling irritable or grouchy. snapping at your loved ones is a common side-effect of this one
- Feeling low in mood.
- Feeling anxious or restless, like you can’t sit still or concentrate on one thing.
- Feeling tired but not able to switch off and go to sleep.
How long do the blues last?
The symptoms usually tend to improve after the first few days but can linger for up to 10-14 days after giving birth.
Keep in mind that everyone experiences the blues differently. For some, the feelings might pass in waves or, for others, there may be pinch points when the feelings arise unexpectedly and then go just as quickly.
How to handle the blues
💙 Go easy on yourself and don’t beat yourself up if you’re not feeling super happy. You’ve just gone through a whopper of a life-changing experience and everything is still brand new.
💙 Don’t question things too much or get stuck thinking that this is your life forever.
💙 Tell your partner / family member / friends / support system about the baby blues so they understand more about how you’re feeling.
💙 Don’t bottle it up. Talk about how you’re feeling and have a little (or big!) cry whenever you need.
💙 Try and rest when you can. Ask for help from those around you and don’t worry if the non-essential things don’t get done immediately.
💙 Get some alone time. Put on your fave song, have a hot cup of tea or take a long shower to give yourself a little recharge.
💙 Drink lots of water to so don’t you start to feel dehydrated – especially if there’s been lots of tears!
💙 Indulge in some comforting and yummy food. Try and eat as much colour as possible!
What to do if the feelings aren’t going away
If symptoms of the baby blues persist longer than 14 days, become heightened or last all day, then you may be experiencing the beginnings of postpartum depression. In that scenario, definitely don’t worry and definitely don’t hide how you feel.
Speak to your midwife, GP, health visitor or someone you trust about what’s going on and ask them for ways they can help you. Postpartum depression is way more common than you think and there are lots of way to improve how you feel.
Birthbabe does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. the resources on our website are provided for informational purposes only. you should always consult with a healthcare professional regarding any medical diagnoses or treatment options.