Is it the Baby Blues or something more serious?

Is it the Baby Blues or something more serious?

Do you know that most birthing people, nearly 80%, experience baby blues after giving birth? Since parenthood is a major transition in a parent’s life and because of a drastic hormone change that occurs after childbirth, it is understandable that many birthing people are going through this transient period of moody mood in the early days of the postpartum. But what are the symptoms of baby blues? How do you know if the symptoms are not a reflection of a more severe condition such as postpartum depression or another mood disorder? How to facilitate the baby blues period? You will find answers to these questions in this informative post.

It’s good to know that baby blues is not an illness and that it resolves on its own as the body adapts to change and you become accustomed to your new role as a parent (either for a first baby or an additional one).

Baby blues usually appears three to five days after delivery, usually around the time milk production starts. Symptoms include:

– mood swings (alternating laughter and tears for no apparent reason)

– sadness

– irritability

– frustration

– fatigue

– insomnia

– sensation to be overwhelmed by events

– a feeling of vulnerability or not feeling competent as a parent

– a lack of appetite.

These symptoms do not last very long, from a few hours to a few days.

The sadness and tears associated with the baby blues come and go and are interspersed with times when you feel happy and experience pleasure during your day. On the other hand, what is important to know is that the baby blues goes away by the second or third week of the postpartum period. Time is also a crucial factor to consider. When symptoms occur two to three weeks after birth or when they last longer than two to three weeks after delivery, it is no longer the baby blues especially if you are unable to function and take proper care of your baby because of your symptoms. You then need to reach out to your healthcare provider. Don’t make a diagnosis on your own. Remember, anytime you are worried about how you feel, about thoughts that go through your mind, and about how it affects your normal functioning, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider right away. Do not be ashamed to seek help to make you feel better. It shows that you care for your wellbeing and that of your baby.

Finally, how can you as a parent go through the emotional roller coaster caused by the baby blues more easily? Here are some helpful suggestions:

– Support is the key. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your partner, relatives or a professional person such as a postpartum doula for your care and the care of your baby. Get help in different ways (for meals and healthy snacks preparation, house cleaning, laundry, taking care of your baby while you rest, etc.) and don’t feel guilty asking for support. .

– Talk about how you feel to someone you trust like your partner, family, friend, other parents, or health care provider.

– Take a nap whenever you have the opportunity. Try to rest when your baby is sleeping. Dishes on the counter and laundry can probably wait.

– It is a good idea to limit the number of visitors in your house if it tires you or if it stresses you.

– Try to take time for yourself doing something that makes you feel good on a regular basis. It could be half an hour at least a few times a week.

– Take the time for skin-to-skin contact with your baby. It would be beneficial for both of you.

– Make sure you eat nutritious and healthy food.

And finally, do not aim for perfection as a parent. You are in a learning process.  Remember to be kind and compassionate to yourself while you are trying to figure out how to take care of your baby the way that is best for him/her and your family. Parenthood is an apprenticeship.


  • Karen Kleiman and Valerie Davis, This Isn’t What I Expected: overcoming postpartum depression, 2013

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