Up to 80% of women often experience “baby blues” during the first three to four days after birth. You may feel sad, cry for no apparent reason, feel very tired, or have poor concentration. These feelings are common and part of a normal experience for some women.
Why do 80% of women get the baby blues?
- You have hormonal changes
- You lack sleep
- You don’t feel confident as a new mother
- You have changes in your relationships
- You are doing too much
What can you do?
- Rest when your baby sleeps
- Take one day at a time
- Ask for and accept offers of help
- Take time for relaxing exercise
- Arrange some time for yourself
- Talk to someone who can reassure you when you feel like crying
If you are still experiencing negative feelings after the first two weeks after childbirth, you could have post-partum depression or anxiety, and you will need some help to cope with it.
One in five women will experience sadness, anger, or anxiety that is more severe and longer-lasting than the baby blues. This is called post-partum depression. If you are feeling sad, anxious, or overwhelmed for more than two weeks after the arrival of your baby, you may be experiencing post-partum depression.
Post-partum depression is not a failure and does not mean you are a bad parent; however, it can pose serious risks to your health and the safety of your baby. Ask your doctor, midwife, or public health nurse for help. You are not alone.
Where to get help
- Physicians or midwives
- Public Health Nurses
- Mental Health services or counselors (referral by your physician or midwife)
If you feel you may harm yourself or your baby, please call the Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888 immediately. Help is available 24/7.