What are the baby blues?
So you’ve got your beautiful baby, thought you’d be totally blissed out but can’t stop crying?
At a glance
- Baby Blues usually strike three or four days after the birth
- Some mums even report feeling a sense of anti-climax once the baby arrives
- If you’re still feeling this way after a few weeks, it’s worth visiting your GP or talking to your health visitor
You’re certainly not alone. Between 50 and 70% of mums get the Baby Blues soon after their baby’s birth. You’ll suddenly notice you’re crying for no apparent reason, feeling utterly exhausted and, well, just not as elated and excited as you thought you’d be.
When might I experience the baby blues?
The Baby Blues usually strike three or four days after the birth. That’s the time when your milk is coming in and your hormones are yo-yoing all over the place. You’re also coming down from the chemical high of childbirth, and probably feeling pretty exhausted and possibly overwhelmed by the thought of all your new responsibilities.
Some mums even report feeling a sense of anti-climax once the baby arrives, after such a long and exciting journey through pregnancy and birth.
How are the baby blues treated?
For some mums these feelings pass in a few hours, for others it can last a few days. Some even find the baby blues kick in a bit later when their babies are nearer two weeks old and they thought they’d escaped it.
But whenever it happens, it doesn’t mean you have post-natal depression. The ‘fog’ will usually lift by itself in a couple of days. In the meantime, get lots of support, reassurance - and cake - from your partner, family and friends.
Try to get as much rest as you can, and don’t turn down people’s offers of help because you feel you should be able to cope. Your body has just been through a huge experience, and it needs time to adjust. Be kind to it!
If you’re still feeling this way after a few weeks, it’s worth visiting your GP or talking to your health visitor, to make sure it’s not something more serious like post-natal depression.
This is how some Bounty mums experienced the Baby Blues:
“I was definitely more emotional than normal. First time around you think that you are being normal – it’s only with hindsight that you can see that you were slightly crazy! A lot of it is down to tiredness, but it’s an overwhelming tiredness. Rest really helps, and an understanding husband.”
“I remember the first few days with my son, when he and I were learning to breastfeed, and not learning terribly quickly. I remember tears of frustration and pain and felt in despair at times. But twice a day while my husband was on paternity leave, he would present me with a slice of chocolate cake and a lovely cup of coffee. I can’t tell you how much I looked forward to that chocolate cake.”
“I think I cried every day for the first few weeks after both my children were born, not about anything in particular – I was just exhausted and refused to rest properly."
“It was my birthday five days after my twins were born and I spent most of that day crying every time I read a birthday card or received flowers.”