Emotional health after giving birth

You are going to find that after giving birth your emotions are a bit all over the place. This is completely normal and should not be of too much concern.

Right after having a baby you may notice that you feel a bit irritable and weepy. This is a condition known as the baby blues. While it may seem not to make sense since you are happy to welcome your new baby, the baby blues are normal and most women experience them.

The baby blues are due to the changes in hormones that happen within the first two to four days following delivery. There are major shifts in these levels, and your body has a little trouble adjusting. The hormones that were present during pregnancy will gradually start to leave your body once you begin making breast milk. You may notice during this time that your appetite changes as well.

It is important to note that your body is not just undergoing many different physical changes. Your emotions are going haywire! The new baby, having new responsibilities and new stresses can often feel overwhelming.

Understanding what parenthood really entails may not become completely evident until you have left the hospital and have been home for a few days. No matter how much you enjoy being a mum, your new life can cause anxiety.

The baby blues is not permanent, and should subside in a few days

It is very common to feel a feeling of being let down after birth, and you may not be entirely sure how to care for your new addition to the family. You are no doubt very tired, and probably unable to sleep well.

You may wonder if it is always going to be this way and if you will feel like this forever. Take comfort,things will ease up and before you know it, you will feel normal again. The baby blues is not permanent, and should subside in a few days. The worst will come four to five days after birth, and from there things will look up.

The majority of women snap out of the baby blues without any medical intervention in just a few days. Your family and friends will provide you a great deal of comfort and in no time at all you will start to feel better.
If you find you are still feeling blue after a month of being home with your new baby, you may have a condition known as postnatal depression (PND). If you are concerned about this, speak with your doctor or midwife to find out more about the condition as well as learn tips for overcoming it and getting treatment.

If you are concerned about Postnatal Depression, speak with your doctor or midwife

If you are a relative, partner, or friend of someone who has the baby blues, be sure to provide as much comfort and support as you can. The new mum is going to feel tired and unsure and there are things you can do to help. Make dinner or prepare meals so she does not have to worry about this task. Offer to watch the baby so she can get some much needed rest. Reassure her that she is doing a good job, and help her organize things to make daily life easier. Try to keep visitors to a minimum and let her cry and vent when she needs to. Most important of all, just listen to her and what she is telling you. Let mum know that it is ok for her to take care of herself, and encourage a bit of time for pampering.

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