Are You Experiencing Baby Blues?
Have you ever felt sadness or irritability right after delivering a baby?
You may be feeling really confused as to why one of the happiest times in a person's life is bringing you sadness. Before you start viewing yourself as a bad parent, you need to know that this is not your fault. According to the March of Dimes organization, 80% of parents experience baby blues. This does not mean that 80% of parents, including yourself, did anything wrong.
Baby blues tend to occur a few days after the baby is born. These feelings can last up to two weeks and can go away on their own. If baby blues stay with you after two weeks, it is possible you are dealing with postpartum depression disorder.
What are some Causes
After you deliver a baby, the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease which cause mood swings. Some people experience a drop in the hormones made by the thyroid gland, making you feel tired and depressed. An imbalanced diet and sleep can also be the source of the negative way you are feeling.
The reasons can also be emotional as you may be nervous or have doubts about being a parent. You could be afraid of how your life will change. These thoughts can make you feel like you will be inadequate as a parent before you even start. If you have experienced depression before your pregnancy or while you are pregnant, these too can cause you to feel extremely sad and anxious
People with baby blues may be feeling the intense emotions of sadness and anger as well as crying a lot. They could be experiencing anxiety and having trouble making healthy decisions for themselves. There could be overwhelming thoughts in their head that they will not be a good parent. Because you feel like a bad person for having negative feelings after a pregnancy, this could cause you to cut yourself off from your family and friends in fear they will not understand or judge.
When Baby Blues Becomes Serious
On average, baby blues should go away on its own in a couple of weeks. If it is longer than that, it is important that you seek help from a mental health professional. If you are experiencing thoughts about harming yourself or even your baby, seek help immediately. It is also a cause for alarm if everything you do for your child feels like a challenge as well as doing everyday chores. While parenting can be a struggle, the adventures you have with your child should be intertwined with joy.
You can try feeling better on your own by doing simple things at home first such as getting enough sleep or taking deep breaths when you're feeling overwhelmed. Seek help from your partner, parents, and friends by letting them know how they might support you best. It can be things like helping you with your groceries or watching the baby while you take a little nap or cook a meal. Attending a support group with other moms or parents going through the same thing will make you feel less alone.
Taking time for yourself whenever possible, walking outside and getting fresh air and breathing space and eating healthy foods will make an impact on your mood and help to reduce stress.
Most importantly, once you are noticing something is off-putting with your mental health and the things you try on your own do not seem to be helping, speak to a therapist about the tools you need to be there for your child and to take care of yourself. You are worth it! Read more about postpartum counseling and schedule your first consultation to learn how to adjust to life with your new baby today.