Having The Baby Blues
It's completely normal for women to have the 'baby blues
' after giving birth, as hormone levels fall and the reality of being a mother and starting a new way of life kicks in.
Some 80% of women have an episode of feeling low after the birth of their baby, which usually sets in about three days post-birth.
These feelings may be heightened
if you have had a difficult labour, are feeling more than normal tiredness, or if you are worried and stressed about anything. Baby blues can lead to you feeling – among other things – low, irritable and anxious, and make you just want to have a good cry, but they usually pass before you know it (usually not later than two weeks after delivery).
Giving birth is a highly emotional experience, and different women respond to it in different ways. While some women may be completely ecstatic and are on a high after having a baby, others may feel a range of negative emotions that can vary in nature, duration and severity.
A dramatic drop in levels of certain hormones is the main culprit affecting your emotional status and moods after childbirth, and can leave you feeling down and weepy. This fairly common after-effect is not helped by the fact that you may be experiencing some discomfort, feeling really tired or are anxious about looking after your baby.
Although baby blues usually pass after a week or so, in the meantime it’s best to get as much physical and moral support as you can from your partner
, family and friends. Try to talk about your feelings rather than bottle them up, and have a good cry if you feel like it. You should also avoid anything too stressful, and try not to over-exert yourself. Take some time out for yourself, making sure that you rest and relax whenever possible to conserve or regain your energy, and eat well.
If your feelings continue beyond a few days or weeks, it is worth having a chat with your GP or public health nurse.