Understanding the Baby Blues: Duration and Explanation

If you are reading this article, it’s likely because you have had a new baby or someone you know has had a baby – Congratulations on the new bundle of joy! However, you might be feeling that in these happy times, you are still feeling upset and anxious at the drop of a hat or rather, over every poopy diaper that happens far too often. In addition, you might be finding that the more you try to work on this with your partner, the more snippy you feel towards them with no end in sight. Many new moms report having the desire to just jump into their car and go for a long drive and find themselves daydreaming about a life where no child, partner or job would need them. Free from all the worries because things just feel so miserable in their current circumstances.

Why such crazy feelings? Every movie ever written seems to tell us that being a new mom is a very joyous occasion and yet it’s so isolating to feel that you may be the only one not feeling the way you were supposed to. For many moms, bringing their newborn baby back, no matter how well they sleep, or how little they cry is daunting, stressful, creates a lot of fatigue, all while dealing with the physical discomfort of giving birth and the mental stress that comes with postpartum hormones that seem to amplify every emotion beyond belief.

In simple terms, you are not alone and your feelings are completely understood, don’t worry. It is completely okay if you feel like you miss your old life when taking care of a newborn did not exist.

This is what we believe you should know about the baby blues so you can navigate your sea of emotions with some grace.

What Are the Baby Blues?

Baby blues are best described as moments of sadness and chaos in your mind that most women experience after having a baby. It happens to about 80% of all parents. To put that in perspective, that’s  4 out of 5 new parents. No matter what background you come from, may you be very healthy, a bit overweight, or a particular ethnicity, or religion, no factor really determines what women will experience, essentially it is something one can prepare themselves to cope with but not avoid entirely.

Most people start to feel the baby blues after two to three days of the baby’s arrival and it can last for around two to three weeks. Don’t worry though, it usually resolves itself without any intervention of medicine. If after that time period, you are still feeling down, we recommend you contact a health care provider of your choosing. They know you best and may check if it’s something more serious, such as postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is like the baby blues, but stronger and can require a therapist, doctor and some medication to come together.

Why Do I Feel This Way and Why Do The Baby Blues Even Happen?

After having a baby, your hormones do a bit of a song and dance. These hormones being in an uproar certainly make you feel the baby blues. Through pregnancy and childbirth, our bodies go through multiple hormonal changes. These changes start to mess with the level of hormones like oestrogen and progesterone, causing mood swings. For some, hormones from the thyroid gland can decline as well, making them feel very tired and low. With the baby keeping us preoccupied one also does not get enough sleep. In addition, missing meals and prioritising everyone else can also make this worse. Besides hormones, all the emotions of taking care of a new baby and the changes in your life can make you feel very low. It’s normal to feel nervous or worried about this new chapter, and those thoughts can make you feel sad or depressed.

Can My Partner Also Have the Baby Blues?

They sure can! Up to 10 percent of partners can feel a bit sad or down after the baby comes. This is most common in the first 3 to 6 months but can happen up to a year later. If your partner is going through the baby blues, they might want some alone time, feel moody, lose interest in things they used to enjoy, or have trouble sleeping and deciding things.

Lack of sleep, relationship issues, or just being stressed can also bring on the baby blues. Even guys can get it because their hormones shift too. Testosterone drops, oestrogen rises, and other hormones like cortisol, vasopressin, and prolactin change, causing feelings of depression.

How Should I Tackle the Baby Blues?

  • The baby blues may seem like it never ends but it usually will go away in time. This doesn’t mean you don’t play a role as well. Here are some tips to help you get started:
  • Get as much sleep as you can! Your brain and body are under a lot of stimulation and need rest.
  • Ask for help from your loved ones; may that be a partner, family, friends or even a good neighbour. It’s okay for you to tell them what you need, like help with groceries or watching the baby while you rest or take a nice long shower.
  • Take some time for yourself. We know it’s easy to say that mom and dad can sleep when the baby sleeps but carve out time for just you.
  • Connect with other new parents. A support group can be awesome—people going through the same stuff, helping each other out.
  • Skip alcohol, street drugs, or abusing prescription drugs. They can mess with your mood and make things worse.
  • Eat healthy and try to get some exercise. It helps cut down on stress.

When to Call Your Healthcare Provider?

If you notice any large symptoms of the baby blues or think you may be showing signs of postpartum depression, it is time to call that doctor, therapist or any other healthcare provider you trust.

Some common symptoms are:

  • You are having thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.
  • Things don’t seem to be getting better after two weeks..
  • You are feeling worse over time, not better
  • It’s making it hard for you to take care of your baby or get through daily tasks.

After reading this, I am sure you see that experiencing the baby blues is common to being a new parent or adjusting to your new life in general. The good news is that these feelings typically will subside on their own 2-3 weeks and being a new parent will start to feel better and enjoyable. Who doesn’t want to enjoy their new baby and get some snuggles in?

If you find yourself still feeling low or anxious after those two weeks, or if your symptoms intensify, it’s crucial to seek support. Reach out to a family member, a trusted friend, or your healthcare provider promptly. While the baby blues are often temporary and normal, postpartum depression requires proper treatment and should be attended to immediately.

Remember, it’s always okay to ask for help, and there is an army of support and resources out there to help you – make sure you check EuroKids for more information!

Follow Us

Get Update

Subscribe our newsletter to get the best stories into your inbox!