Updated: Oct 24, 2022
Your baby has finally arrived but strangely, instead of feeling happy, you feel sad, irritable, and even angry at times. You re likely to have the “baby blues”. Don’t fret, these feelings are common for many mothers experiencing postnatal blues AKA the baby blues.
The baby blues generally appear within 2 weeks of a baby’s arrival. The good news is that this condition is short-lived and wears off after a few days to weeks. If you experience it, don’t beat yourself — the baby blues is a common occurrence, not a serious mental health condition, and it should not be viewed as your character flaw.
What Causes the Baby Blues?
Hormone changes from the rollercoaster ride of pregnancy are the culprit. In addition, the new demands of dealing with the newborn (and sometimes with the nanny) while managing daily tasks, establishing a routine, and visits from relatives and friends add to the stress of being a new mum.
A sense of hopelessness or feeling overwhelmed
Inability to concentrate
Can Anything Be Done to Manage It?
Unfortunately, you can’t prevent the hormones that causes the baby blues, but you can take steps to bounce back faster.
Be specific about the support and help that you need. Try asking for support from trusted family members or friends to manage daily household chores or look after your new baby for a respite, so that you can get as much sleep and exercise
Eat a healthy balanced diet for good nutrition
Have some “me time” so you can relax and unwind from the stress. Go out for a walk, do your hair and/or nails and spa, or read a book
Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which worsen mood swings
Check-in with your doctor if you’re worried about your symptoms
Talk about your challenges with your friends or join a support group of new mothers such as the New Mothers Support Group in Singapore
What If Your Symptoms Last for More Than 2 Weeks?
If any of your baby blues symptoms persist for longer than 2 weeks, or if you feel that life isn’t worth living, or hurting yourself / baby, see your doctor immediately. It’s important to get help as soon as possible because your baby blues can spiral into post-partum/postnatal depression or more rarely, post-partum psychosis, both of which requires medication or even admission to the hospital.
Take control of your mental health. You are an awesome mom!