I remember during my first pregnancy asking my OB, “What are the baby blues ?” He didn’t really go into depth about the baby blues, but was more interested in knowing about what sort of post birth support I had. This was great; but I was trying to navigate how I would feel, what it would be like and when would it start ?
What are the Baby Blues ?
The baby blues can start anywhere between 3 to 10 days after the birth of your baby and usually last for 2 to 3 days.
Most postpartum women get the baby blues. Post birth you may feel teary, anxious and irritable and your mood can go up and down, kind of like PMS. Feeling teary can be worse if your birth was difficult, you are overtired or you have other worries, such as breastfeeding issues, a baby with reflux or post birth trauma.
Usually the baby blues will pass and the most effective treatment is unconditional support and love from your partner, family and friends. Baby blues that lasts for longer than 2 weeks may be a sign that you are developing postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can develop at anytime during the first year after having a baby.
Please ensure you get help if you are feeling overwhelmed. See your Doctor and if in Australia contact the national Helpline for PANDA Ph 1300 726 306
Navigating the Baby Blues
It is really hard to describe exactly how you feel or what triggers your emotions during the baby blues. For me it was trying to get our Baby Monitor to work when we had just got our firstborn home. I felt completely overwhelmed and stressed about a silly device – something that normally wouldn’t have really bothered me ! Luckily my husband was very supportive and assured me all through the night that the monitor was working fine. Despite his re-assurance the tears kept flowing, but after 2 days I felt much better !
The words and artwork below by Catie Atkinson perfectly capture baby blues. Nothing can really prepare you for those waves of emotion coupled with a healing body and exhaustion. But reading this does re-assure you that you are not alone.
Words and stunning artwork by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol
Read this Mama and Mama to Be
Dearest New Mama,
You are sore and leaky and more tired than you could have ever imagined. Everything is soaked in breast milk and tears. Everything hurts. Your body has literally stretched to its breaking point, or perhaps was cut open to make space for the miracle of life. Your heart aches with a love so huge it feels as though going to break you in half and sometimes you can’t breathe because it all feels too big.
They told you about the waves of birth but no one told you about the intense waves of postpartum- the euphoria and joy that lifts you up, and the heavy weight that drops you suddenly and leaves you sobbing into receiving blankets. You look back across the sea and the journey you’ve made- and in the distance you see the maiden you once were. So much has changed in so little time and you wonder if you’ll ever find your way back to that self. You wouldn’t change this love for the world, but something inside you aches for familiar ground and the woman you once were.
This is all so new and raw. But you will find your way, sweet mama. You have not left yourself behind, you’ve simply grown new wings. The maiden you with her carefree ways and wild spirit is still inside you, and always will be. Follow the compass of your heart. Allow the tears to fall. You will find your way, and your self will be waiting for you with open arms when you do.
Words & Art by Catie Atkinson @spiritysol
Read the full post here on my Facebook Page. and share your feelings or if you have any concerns about the Baby Blues. Connection and support is something all Mama’s need.
Dahlas Fletcher is one of Australia’s most respected and successful certified and experienced Pregnancy and Female Fitness Trainers. Her goal is to help you be the happiest, most fabulous version of yourself, inside and out.