Are you a new mom that’s been feeling extremely depressed and out of it? Have you been crying for no apparent reason? Irritability, impatience or anxious?
Mood swings after the birth of a baby are not uncommon. Approximately 70-80% of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child.While the “baby blues” are the least severe form of postpartum depression, it is important not to ignore the changes that are happening in your body.
Trust and believe you’re not alone! A lot of new moms struggle with juggling their emotions after giving birth but don’t always know how to process them or who to talk to. Below we get into what the “baby blues” is, symptoms and how to deal with it.
What Is The “Baby Blues?”
The exact cause of the “baby blues” is unknown at this time. It is thought to be related to the hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and again after a baby is born. These hormonal changes may produce chemical changes in the brain that result in depression.
It’s important to know that there is a huge difference between what is called the baby blues and postpartum depression (PPD). The timeframe in which symptoms occur is often the distinguishing factor because baby blues should subside after a few weeks while PPD can last up until a year or longer.
What Are The Symptoms Of The “Baby Blues?”
For every woman the the symptoms of “baby blues” can differ. However, symptoms will most likely occur forcefully within four to five days after the birth of the baby.
Symptoms of “baby blues” include:
– Weepiness or crying for no apparent reason
– Insomnia (even when the baby is sleeping)
– Mood changes
– Poor concentration
How Long Do The “Baby Blues” Last?
The symptoms of the “baby blues” normally linger for a few minutes up to a few hours each day or in some cases all day. These symptoms should lessen and disappear within fourteen days after delivery.
How To Deal With The Symptoms Of The “Baby Blues”
The best way to decrease the symptoms of the “baby blues” is to take o care of yourself first and foremost!
It’s important to talk with someone that you trust about how you are feeling. This could be your partner, a family member or even a counselor.
You’ll also want to maintain a well-balanced diet. Having a new baby may cause you not to eat correctly, and too many simple carbohydrates can make mood swings more pronounced. Also look into incorporating Omega-3 fats into your diet.
Journaling can be very therapeutic and helpful to jot down of all your thoughts and feelings.
Get outside to enjoy fresh air even if it’s only for a few minutes. Being in a new environment can help tremendously.
Ask for help! Seek help that allows you to focus on the joy of having a new baby and not just the pressure of juggling it all.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. No on is perfect and there is no such thing as the perfect mom. Give yourself grace and time to heal from birth. It’ll take some time to adjust to your new “job,” feeding and sleeping routines.
Preventing The Baby Blues
If taken during the prenatal period, studies have shown that the Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA, may lower the risk of pre-term birth and lower the risk of postpartum depression in new mothers.
Additionally, inadequate maternal intake of Omega-3s has also been linked to child-onset Type 1 Diabetes.
Currently, the proposed adequate intake of DHA for pregnant and lactating women is 300 mg. per day. The current recommendation is 450 mg of DHA daily throughout pregnancy and a more balanced blend of EPA and DHA, roughly 625 mg of DHA and 410 mg of EPA, during lactation.