What are the Baby Blues Anyway?

What are the Baby Blues Anyway?

With a new baby there’s a build-up of anticipation. You’ve been pregnant for nine months; maybe you tried to get pregnant for a long time, maybe you’ve dreamed of holding this baby in your arms for many years. You spend months dreaming of reading story books and rocking your baby to sleep. You painstakingly design the perfect nursery and pick out all those tiny cute clothes they’ll wear for the first few weeks. You spend hours debating names with your spouse and dreaming of life as new parents.

Now that baby is finally here, it isn’t exactly what you thought it would be. There are a lot of fluids coming out of both of you. The baby cries more than you thought. Breastfeeding is difficult and not at all the natural experience you were led to believe it would be. You’re tired – exhausted to the point of delirium. And even though you’re so happy and in love, you feel like you were hit by a bus and then someone sent you home with a baby!  

Many new moms expect to feel overjoyed at the arrival of their baby and find themselves unexpectedly sad in those first few days. It can be confusing and overwhelming. You may find your mind is foggy and you have difficulty concentrating. Leaving the house feels intimidating and you worry a lot more than you expected to. This is what is called the baby blues.

After a few weeks, you start to feel better, and you finally get into a good routine with your baby in your new life as a mama. About 80% of moms experience the baby blues, so know you are not alone.

Many people confuse the baby blues for postpartum depression, or refer to the baby blues as postpartum depression. It’s important to know the primary difference between baby blues and postpartum depression is that one goes away without treatment, and the other does not.

While everyone goes through periods of sadness every once and a while – especially after a big life change – if you experience these feelings for a prolonged period of time, it’s a sign that you should consult your doctor.  

It’s important to know that just because you have the baby blues, it doesn’t mean you will have postpartum depression. It’s also important to know that even if you have the baby blues, postpartum depression may not occur until months later (or even up to a year after your baby is born).  

If you feel like you have been experiencing these feelings for a prolonged period of time, or they’ve started to pop up again for you recently, check out postpartum.net for help finding providers in your area who specialize in postpartum mood disorders.