Having a baby is a big life change (even if you already have children) that you can’t fully prepare for. The emotional shifts after birth, like the baby blues, can catch you by surprise.
The baby blues involves feeling sad and teary over events. You can have mood swings, tearfulness, and feelings of overwhelm or worry. It usually happens in response to events; for example, someone makes a comment that never would have bothered you previously, but then you’re crying over it. Or maybe you’re having trouble settling your baby, and then you’re feeling teary too. Or you see washing on the laundry floor and you feel overwhelmed and upset by this. The sadness with the baby blues is temporary – you may be crying or sad for a while, but then okay again afterwards.
Many women expect to be happy to have their baby in the world and can be surprised to have these sad feelings too. The baby blues usually start around Day 3 after birth and resolve within two weeks of giving birth. It’s thought to caused by hormonal changes after giving birth.
If you’re experiencing the baby blues, the following can help:
- Remind yourself that this is both common and normal after birth and most women experience it.
- Notice that your feelings are temporary and can shift quickly. Whilst you might feel sad suddenly, you can also feel okay again fairly soon too!
- Have a good cry when you need to. Expressing emotion often helps it pass.
- Tell someone when you feel sad, overwhelmed, or worried- talking through feelings and getting support often helps relieve these feelings.
Remember: The sadness and mood swings from the baby blues are often brief and in response to something happening. If you find in the early weeks after birth that you feel sad for no apparent reason, or your mood is often low (particularly if this starts or continues outside of the immediate two weeks post-birth), then it’s important to see your GP.