Congratulations! You’ve just had a baby!
This is the best period of your life, but also appears to be the worst period sometimes. The happiness comes camouflaged with a cranky baby, diaper blowouts, breastfeeding sessions and other problems.
The new baby blues syndrome comes right out of the blue. Once the baby is home, it is natural for moms to feel anxious or over- anxious. Moms might feel a sudden sadness and a sense of irritability where unexpected bouts of crying, anxiety and restlessness are noted. But isn’t this contrary to normal behaviour, one might ask?
After all, a baby is supposed to make you happy, and not sad! The good news is that the baby blues is a completely natural thing and is likely to fade away in the next couple of weeks. But it’s important for you to understand why these baby blues happen so you can deal with it more efficiently. Post pregnancy, your body experiences a massive change. So do your emotions as there are
rapid changes in hormone levels because of the swift drop in estrogen and progesterone.
A physically exhaustive delivery is followed by a tiring homecoming from the hospital, which is aggravated by the continuous demands of new-born care that just don’t seem to stop, going on round-the- clock. A sense that you are unprepared for the baby also makes matters worse and can make the baby blues linger longer. These feelings of disappointment can stem from the fact because you might have hoped for a non-medicated labour. But as the pain got the better of you, you had to request for an epidural. Guilt about
your reaction as well as your family’s reaction to the new baby might also be a cause. You were expecting a pink, healthy baby but the baby fell short of expectations. Breastfeeding might not be a cakewalk and this may cause postpartum depression.
As you trade your old life for the new, and your new life revolves totally around the baby, it is natural to think that you are not enough for the baby especially if help is scarce or limited. The important thing to do is to take good care of yourself. Sleeping well is a good idea, and it might be a good idea to sync your sleep hours with the baby’s sleep hours so that you get that much needed sleep if baby keeps you awake at night.
It’s also important to do the things that you love doing during that phase so that it helps you stay cheerful. Let’s face it; living 24/7 for another human being will leave you drained out and resentful. Do something, anything that made you feel happy and relaxed pre-baby, even if it’s only for half an hour. Here are a few other things you could do to beat the new baby blues.
Do not try to be a supermom and do everything all by yourself. If your partner or mother-in-law offers to do something that you’ve always traditionally done, like doing the laundry, do not hesitate to take their help. Remember that you need all the rest that you can get now so don’t try to cook meals, change diapers and other errands all by yourself.
Don’t get stuck indoors all the time. Step outdoors for some me-time even if for a little while to get some much needed fresh air. Also eat well. Even when indoors, talk to friends or family over the phone or chat with a family member who won’t be quick to judge you. It is important that you bond perfectly well with your partner for that much needed camaraderie and support at this crucial juncture. Equal shared parenting has to come into play in today’s world.
Remember that almost 80 percent of postpartum mothers have the baby blues caused by hormonal fluctuations. This is the short period after giving birth when you experience bouts of sadness, anxiety, stress, and mood swings. 4 out of 5 new moms are victims of new baby blues. So, count yourself lucky if you don’t!
But baby blues usually last for a period of two weeks. If you’re still feeling sad, anxious or overwhelmed after 2 weeks postpartum, you may have postpartum depression. This is a more serious condition for which you have to seek medical help. In case you feel the symptoms, reach out to a family member, trusted friend, or healthcare provider right away, or call the SAMHSA National Helpline for local resources. But remember that a typical case of new baby
blues shouldn’t affect your normal life too much.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Do write in to us and tell us how you beat those new baby blues!
You ask and we answer!
Is it normal to cry a lot after having a baby?
Priya Ganesan, Hyderabad.
Crying a lot and feeling overwhelmed in the days after giving birth is common. If you've been feeling despondent and unable to cope for more than 10 days after giving birth, though, you should get checked out for postpartum depression.
What is the meaning of baby blues?
Nidhi Singhal, Navi Mumbai.
Baby blues are feelings of sadness a woman may have in the first few days after having a baby. Baby blues are also called postpartum blues. Postpartum means after giving birth.
Can my baby feel when I'm sad?
Alka Mohanty, Bhubaneshwar.
Yes, babies can feel sad just as they can feel excited, scared and happy. In the past, scientists underestimated what babies were capable of feeling and thinking. In fact, until the 1980s, researchers believed babies could'nt feel pain in the same way as adults!
Why do new moms cry?
Kajal Kapoor, Melbourne.
Baby blues are the mood swings you may experience after the birth of your baby that can result in unexplained crying and feelings of sadness, anxiety or irritability. Drops in estrogen, progesterone, and hormones produced by the thyroid gland can trigger these symptoms, but luckily, they don't last forever.