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Baby Blues: Depression after Childbirth

2 min read

Mixed race mother nursing newborn baby

The “baby blues” are mood swings caused by hormonal changes. In all likelihood this period of feeling low one minute and euphoric the next won’t last beyond the first week but you’ll still need a lot of support to get you through it. Maybe the “baby blues” are a natural sign to those around you that you need time and space to come to terms with being a mother. That is certainly how a concerned partner, relative or friend should deal with it, although you’ll find that because your hormone are all over the place, you’ll also cry when someone’s nice to you!

Why do you get the blues?
Your hormones, progesterone and estrogen, will have been high during pregnancy. After you have had your baby, these hormone levels drops and your bod may find it difficult to adjust. This can have a marked effect on your emotions. With this, and the fact that you’re probably completely exhausted from the labour and lack of sleep, it’s not at all surprising that you may not be feeling on top of the world.

What can you do to help yourself?
• Give yourself time: accept that you’ll feel like this for a short while and that what you are going through is incredibly common.
• Accept offers of help and don’t try to do everything yourself.
• Try to talk about your feelings and have a good cry if it helps.
• Tell your partner you need a lot of love and affection, but remember this is a time of upheaval and change for him too.

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