Coping with the Baby Blues

Mums can feel tearful in the days after the baby's born. It’s called the baby blues and it’s perfectly normal. See what causes it and how to deal with it.


What exactly are the baby blues?

Having a baby is wonderful – but many mums don’t feel that way in the early days. The phrase baby blues, also known as postpartum blues, or postpartum distress syndrome, describes the feeling of emotional upheaval some mums experience after the birth.

If you’ve just had a baby and you feel tearful, irritable and a bit depressed, you may have the baby blues.


Does every mum get these feelings?

No – but lots do. It’s estimated that as many as 80% of new mums experience the baby blues.


What causes the baby blues?

It’s mainly down to hormones. Your body goes through huge changes after you’ve had a baby. There’s the birth itself, which can be exhausting, and then your milk comes in.

The hormones needed in pregnancy decrease, and others needed for you to produce milk kick in. All this can have a powerful effect on the way you feel.

Plus, there’s the added new responsibility of having a baby to care for and the awareness of all the changes it can bring to your life. No wonder some women feel a bit overwhelmed!


How long will these feelings last?

Mums can get the baby blues in the first 14 days after birth, and they’re often at their worst 3 or 4 days afterwards.


How do I cope with feeling like this?

Knowing your feelings are common can be a help in itself. Try to find time to rest and relax – it might not be easy, but get as much sleep as you possibly can. Even a nap can help.

Limit the number of visitors you have, as this can be tiring.


What should I do if the feeling doesn’t go away?

If you’re still feeling low after 2 weeks, see your doctor as you may have postpartum depression. Other signs of postpartum depression include:

  • sleeplessness
  • anxiety
  • panic attacks
  • uncontrollable crying
  • lack of interest in the baby

Postpartum depression is quite common too, so don’t be afraid to seek help.


How dads can help

Reassure your partner to build up her confidence. Try to make sure she gets as much rest as possible.

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