“Baby blues” are mild and short-lived (lasting a few days) mood changes that occur after having a baby and is very different to post-natal depression. Up to 80% of women experience at least some symptoms of baby blues immediately after childbirth. It is thought to be caused by the sudden change in hormones after delivery, combined with stress, potential isolation, sleep deprivation, and fatigue. You might feel more tearful, overwhelmed, and emotionally fragile. If these feelings of not coping, being overwhelmed, anxious and teary, last more than a few days or get worse, you should seek advice from your healthcare professional.
See our top 10 tips to support you through this time:
- Reach out to other new parents or join a mum’s group. You’ll likely find there are other parents going through something similar.
- Try mediation and mindfulness apps.
- Eat a healthy, varied and balanced diet.
- Get some sleep – I know it’s easier said than done, but the age-old advice to sleep when the baby does, may help you here. Sleep deprivation can really wreak havoc on your mood.
- Try and get some sun and fresh air! It’s amazing how a short walk can lift your mood.
- Try to make time for the simple things like showering and doing your hair - they can really make a big difference.
- Do something your pre-baby-self loved – something to relax or re-energize you, even if only 10 minutes at a time.
- Try journaling. Noting how you feel each day can help you realise what makes you happy and what doesn’t.
- Be kinder to yourself. Do your best - it doesn’t have to be perfect.
- Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to help. A few less errands on your to do list can make all the difference.
Most women go through a period of adjustment post birth. Support from your partner, friends and family (aka ‘the village’) is really important. However, if you’re experiencing long term mood changes and feel like you’re not coping, reach out to your healthcare professional for help. There are also several fantastic services in Australia you can talk to directly including PANDA and BeyondBlue.