Baby Blues: Signs You Might Have It
Due to the sudden hormonal and chemical unrest that take place in your body after childbirth, many women experience a form of depression often called the ‘baby blues’, which tends to occur during the first few weeks after giving birth. The overwhelming feelings of helplessness can sometimes even be too much to bear and some might even regret having a baby instead of feeling the joys of becoming a new mom!
Did you know?
Baby blues usually strike two to eight weeks after the birth, though sometimes it can creep up into one’s life several months or even a year after the baby is born!
Experiencing baby blues when you know you should be feeling happy can be extremely distressing. Postnatal depression is thought to affect around one in 10 women, maybe even more.
Symptoms of baby blues can include:
- Feeling emotional
- Experience irrational thoughts
- Bursting into tears for no apparent reason
- Easily agitated and touchy
- Feeling depressed or anxious
As unpleasant as all the above sounds, they do not normally last for too long and in most cases, they tend to disappear within a couple of weeks or so.
When a bout of baby blues strike, it is known to be relentless, rendering its victim hopeless and despondent. For most moms who experience it, even looking after their own selves seems too much, what more taking care of a baby.
Emotional signs of a hard case of the baby blues may include:
- Unable to bond with your baby
- No interest in breastfeeding
- Feelings of hopelessness, as if there is no way out of this disturbing emotional state
- Unexplainable crying spells
- Feelings of not being able to cope with the new status of motherhood
- Nothing seems to make you happy
- Severe lack of concentration
- Bouts of memory loss
- Feeling overly anxious about having to care for your baby
- Frequent panic attacks
- Extreme tiredness due to lack of sleep
- Feelings of restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling generally unwell for most of the time
- Deep feelings of guilt for not being able to feel happy as a new mom
Don’t wait, get help!
Women who experience baby blues are known to suffer in silence, mostly because they do not wish for anyone to know that they are not feeling the joys of becoming a new mom. That, by itself, indicates that they generally know that something is not right with what they’re experiencing. What’s important to know though, is that the situation, no matter how severe it appears to be, can be successfully turned around with proper help and medication, and a new mom may be able to enjoy her new status as a mother after all!
If you think you have postnatal depression aka baby blues, don’t resign to it. Instead, get help. None of what you’re experiencing are in any way signs that you’re a bad mother or are unable to cope. Baby blues is legitimately an illness and you need to get help, just as you would if you have a fever or a bad cough.
While you can (and should!) open up to someone you trust, such as your partner or a friend, it’s crucial that your your GP too is made aware of what you’re going through. He or she will know exactly how to take it from there and help you get your life back on track!