Step 2 of 11
Current Course: Taking Care of You after Giving Birth
Baby blues is such a cute sounding name for a problem that doesn't feel cute at all. One of the things that strikes me as sad is how many women have a distorted idea of what motherhood is like, and what they should be feeling, or how they should be acting. Every woman is different, and how she will react is different; there is nothing wrong with that.
The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology report that about 70-80% of women have baby blues after childbirth; it usually happens a few days after giving birth and goes away without treatment.
I remember a woman who, after having her baby, was sad because her baby didn't look like the “Gerber” baby, and another who didn't feel like bells rang and birds chirped when she saw her little one for the first time.
We women can be so hard on ourselves; we think that we should just know what to do when it comes to our babies. We watch TV and read magazines that help us come up with our own unattainable fantasies about how we are going to have the perfect baby and how we will raise them like the perfect mothers we are. Nothing is perfect. We are all works in progress, and we continue to learn along the way.
The Baby Blues can make you feel like you are anxious, depressed, or upset with yourself, your spouse, your baby, and possibly your other children. If you are crying for no reason and/or having trouble eating or sleeping, it is possible you are experiencing the Baby Blues. The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology report that about 70-80% of women have baby blues after childbirth; it usually happens a few days after giving birth and goes away without treatment.
There are some things that you can do that may help the way you feel about your whole situation.
I know you have all heard, “sleep when the baby sleeps”, and although it is tempting to do housework, catch up on phone calls, or maybe throw a meal together, it would benefit you during the first few weeks to get as much sleep as you can (sometimes sleeping when the baby sleeps doesn't get you much sleep).
Ask for help
Don't be afraid to ask for help. Think of all those people who said “Let me know if you need anything;” take them up on this offer. You would be surprised how happy people would be to give you a few hours break, time to take a worry free nap, help with a few loads of laundry, a prepared dinner, or a clean house (even a straightened up house). It makes them feel good to do something for you, and it will make a difference in how you feel.
If the “baby blues” don't improve or get worse, you may have something a little more intense that is called “postpartum depression”. Talk to your doctor to find out what steps need to be taken to resolve these feelings.