The baby blues trigger
For me, it coincided with “love songs night” on The X Factor one year. I rang my partner and sobbed down the phone for half an hour. I still can’t hear a certain song without welling up. At the time I was sure I was losing my mind – hadn’t I just been given the most unbelievable gift of a beautiful baby boy? – but some months later I realised it was the dreaded “baby blues”.
What is postnatal depression or the baby blues?
The baby blues are believed to be linked to hormonal changes in the body shortly after giving birth, and are so common that it’s believed that eight in ten mums experience some form of baby blues. Pregnancy hormones begin to leave the body shortly after you begin to produce breast milk; truth is, however, the physical changes are only part of the story. Adrenaline is at an all-time high after giving birth, and it’s normal to experience a real comedown after this. Having a baby, especially for the first time, can be overwhelming too, and after the initial excitement, the gradual realisation of the responsibility of a new baby can bring you back to reality with a real bump.
How long does it last?
These feelings can hit about three to five days after giving birth, and should lift within a few days. The key to feeling better is to seek support from your partner, friends and family. It is important to keep an eye on the baby blues, however – if you are still feeling down and depressed a month after giving birth, see your GP as you may be suffering from postnatal depression. Remember that your feelings and emotions are important, but with the right amount of support, advice and treatment, you can feel better, so always seek help if you’re worried in any way.
How can I help my partner through it?
The baby blues can be helped tremendously with some common-sense support and help.
- Help out with the baby, eg if your partner is breastfeeding, take over the nappy changes
- Listen to her concerns and take over some tasks that might be worrying her
- Make sure she’s eating properly, perhaps cook her some dinners and ensure she has lots of easy-to-prepare snacks if you need to go out to work
- Keep visitors to a minimum
- Keep praising her approach with the baby
- Be patient and remember that the weepiness should pass
- If you are worried that it’s going on for too long, get advice from your public health nurse or GP
maternity & infant
Originally posted 2017-01-26 15:37:38.