If only the baby blues were only a catchy musical genre, then we’d be able to coast right through those first weeks of parenthood. But they aren’t. They also don’t need to be feared.
The baby blues are the period from right after you deliver your baby through the next two or three weeks when it seems like your emotions, and the world has turned on its head.
The name them the blues because it’s not uncommon to be sad, teary, and quick to need reassurance. However, the opposite feelings are tucked in there too. These first weeks after you deliver are a roller coaster of highs and lows as your body works out how to produce the hormones, it stopped making when you became pregnant. Progesterone is primarily the hormone to take credit for these ups and downs, as the placenta takes overproduction.
But that placenta, it doesn’t slowly wean itself from the production line, no. It is birthed shortly after your baby, and you have to do a hard reentry. That sudden stop means your body has to work to find the right levels again. And whoa, it is a work in progress.
What are the baby blues?
- first 2-3 weeks after delivery
- a completely normal part of recovering from birth
- a time of hormone regulation
- an emotionally fraught period, feelings and emotions being “closer” than normal
- possibly some heightened anxiety
- It’s a time to feel all the things as they come up and through your healing period, be it body soreness, mental overload, grief about your birth experience, or loss of self or connections.
What helps while working through the baby blues?
As hard as it might be to get rest, getting it will make a huge difference. If you are not the kind of person who can’t nap, you may want to learn.
Expressing Those Emotions
…and having them validated. Feeling safe, able to share, and heard once you do are a part of the deep healing that
Connection with close support people
However it feels best, let your people help. It could be getting texts of encouragement and video chats to connect with friends and family, or it could be opportunities for you to vent. If you want people to be near, let people over who you know won’t tonight any anxiety or shame. Let your home be an island and let those people who get access be ones who will support you right where you’re at, wherever that may be.
Focusing on Basic Needs
Now is the time to put projects on hold and sink into the beauty of taking care of your daily needs. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or irritable, take a few deep breaths and ask yourself:
- Have I eaten?
- Should I lay down?
- When did I last have a glass of water?
- Am I taking care of my healing body?
People Who Make It Easier
If you are able, get help from non-judgmental people like a supportive partner, friend, family member, or trained postpartum doula who can lighten the load, make your life easier. This could mean getting information. This could look like meals are getting made. This could look like holding your baby while you nap or shower. You get to pick what is most important each day, and these people get it.