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When I hit the third trimester, my doctor and my obstetrician started preparing me for the baby blues. They talked about how emotions run high and you may find yourself weepy, or even angry, guilty, or finding other emotions.
Of course, as a first time Mom, I shrugged it off. I figured that it would be kind of like PMS symptoms and that it would be nothing to handle. I was wrong!!
The baby blues were no joke.
What Are the Baby Blues?
Baby blues are known as mood swings that are sometimes even extreme after having a baby. Most, if not all women have them. It is because of the rise and fall of hormones, coupled with not sleeping, and all of the physical changes going through your body. Some often feel confused over why they feel this way after having a baby since it is supposed to be a “miracle.”
My husband spent the first two weeks stroking my hair because I physically could not stop crying. It was like my face was leaking. Even when I felt happy I was crying. This coupled with crippling anxiety heading into the night time. As soon as the sun would set I would get anxious because nights with Sophia not sleeping was terrible. I didn’t think I would ever make it.
Eventually, I even began to wonder why I wanted a baby in the first place. This realization made me feel horrible. I actually began to feel guilt and regret over having her. This was SUCH a terrible feeling. Thankfully, however, these feelings went away after a few weeks. This made parenting so much easier.
For other first time moms, you may feel a little apprehensive of what is to follow having a baby, especially after hearing stories like mine. I’m here to tell you that that is okay! You will make it through! There are so many ways to lessen the effects of the baby blues. How? Here is a great list of how to beat the feelings of baby blues.
How to survive the baby blues
- Remember that it is GOING to end. It WILL get better. Sooner than you think. I remember feeling like it will never end. This is my life for 18 years. However, baby blues generally only last a week or two. Just keep reminding yourself that it gets better fast!
- Take “me time.” I didn’t do this. I felt like my baby was attached to me and I was awful if I wanted to get away from her. However, it was important to my sanity that I did. So when my husband was home, I would pass her off and get a bath or hot shower, and just reset. I’d crank the music and zone out. Don’t feel guilty for taking time to yourself. (See my list on self-care ideas!)
- Talk about it. I had a friend that had a seven-month-old baby. She told me to call her whenever I needed help. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. Especially when she admitted she had the same feelings too. Every mom goes through a rollercoaster of feelings, so by talking about it, you can get things off your chest and you can understand you aren’t the only one!
- Try and get as much rest as possible. I know this is much easier said than done. I often joke that napping when the baby naps is a myth. But if you need to, pass the baby off and nap! It is so essential because it can worsen feelings of baby blues if you are exhausted.
- Stay hydrated and eat well. It’s incredibly easy to forget to eat when you have a new little baby, especially if you are breastfeeding. Make sure you take the time and eat well to stay feeling well.
- If things get really bad. Talk to a professional. Postpartum depression is incredibly common and very serious. So if you have feelings of hurting yourself or your baby or feel hopeless, or the baby blues don’t go away, it’s so important to talk to your doctor! It happens to so many mothers so never feel bad about that. You aren’t alone. Help is important.
Baby blues are hard, especially when coupled with sleep deprivation, but it is manageable. What things have you used to cope with baby blues? Comment below!
For more information on baby blues, check out Americanpregnancy.org for help.