Your body has been through so much, and you’ve made it through! So don’t worry, you’ll get through this next part, too. Hormones fluctuate greatly after giving birth, and the physical and emotional toll on your body and mind can be significant, causing what’s known as The Baby Blues.
It’s completely normal (and rather common) to have some sad feelings in the days and early weeks after pregnancy. This article will help you understand when to ask for help.
Did you know, up to 4 out of 5 new moms experience some form of the ‘baby blues’. Knowing that these feelings are commonplace should help ease your mind to some degree. Feeling a bit out of sorts or ‘not yourself’ right away is something that is to be expected and that will likely pass on it’s own.
However, if you find yourself continuing to feel consistent or overwhelming sadness for more than two weeks after your delivery, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your doctor.
What Causes the Baby Blues? A few things are known to contribute to the sadness you may be feeling: After delivery, estrogen and progesterone suddenly decrease, causing mood swings. Hormones made by the thyroid gland may drop sharply, which can trigger tired and depressed feelings. Not getting enough sleep and not eating well or enough can add to these feelings.
In addition, you may also be feeling nervous about taking care of your new baby or be worried about how your life has changed since the baby was born. These thoughts can make you feel sad or depressed.
How to combat the Baby Blues:
- Get as much rest as you can. Be proactive and ask for help from your partner, family and friends. Let them know exactly how they can help: things like going grocery shopping or watching the baby while you shower or rest.
- Talk to other new parents. A support group can help. This is a group of people who have the same concerns and are going through the same thing. They meet to try to support each other.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs and don’t abuse prescription drugs. They can affect your mood and make you feel worse. And they can limit your ability to take care of your baby.
- Set aside YOU time. Getting some sunshine with natural vitamin D each day can help, too. Have a trusted friend or family member watch your baby so you can get out of the house.
- Eat healthy foods and get exercise if you can. Make sure your exercise is mild, limited and gradual, according to doctor’s advice. Exercise can be a great way to help reduce stress.
When to get help.
If those Baby Blues have not dissipated OR have become worse after a couple of weeks, set up a doctor’s appointment to talk it over. If at any point you feel thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, call 911 immediately. There are effective treatments to help you through this time, and your doctor can get you started on the road to feeling better and like ‘yourself’ again. Remember, this is something that happens to many women, and it is treatable.
Need to hear a friendly voice right away? Someone is always there on the other end of our 24 hour hotline: 614-444-4411. Don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ve been helping women just like you for over 40 years. You’re never alone!