After having a baby, many moms have their eyes peeled for the red flags of postpartum depression (PPD). But mood disorders in the postpartum phases have different levels of severity, and it could be easy to miss the more sublte symptoms of the lesser known baby blues. In fact, many experiences that you may think of as common new mom stuff are actually things you didn't realize are signs of the baby blues. Just because the symptoms are not as prominent, overwhelming, or long lasting as PPD, doesn't mean women experiencing the baby blues don't need support and understanding too.
The prevalence of this condition is more universal than you may realize. As the website for the American Pregnancy Association reported, "approximately 70 to 80 percent of all new mothers experience some negative feelings or mood swings after the birth of their child." With the majority of postpartum women being symptomatic of the baby blues, it's easy to see why some of these feelings begin to become accepted as "normal." However, these mild and temporary feelings can still have a profound effect on a new mother's experience and should not be disregarded. When considering what you go through as a new mother, be on the lookout for these easily missed signs of the baby blues, and know you're not alone.
1. You Never Feel Rested
This one can be tricky, since having an infant is famous for causing you to be excruciatingly tired. But if you feel like you are never rested, even after getting some sleep, you should know that this is a sign of the baby blues, according to Babble. Never experiencing the restorative sensation after snoozing could mean there's more going on than general fatigue.
2. You Have Issues With Appetite
This symptom may be overlooked since your body is still going through hormonal adjustments for months after giving birth, but if you've noticed something is off about your attitude toward food, don't blow it off. Experiencing appetite problems is a sign of the baby blues, according to Mayo Clinic, and should be considered just as seriously as mood-related symptoms.
3. You Suffer Mood Swings
Going through the spectrum of emotions is another sign that could be chalked up to hormones (which is totally possible). However, if you're experiencing mood swings in conjunction with other symptoms, it's more than likely related to the baby blues, as the website for Women's Health, a website from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services explained.
4. You Have Trouble Concentrating
With all the added responsibilities that a new baby brings (diapers, and feedings, and burping — oh my!) it's easy to become a little scatterbrained. But as the American Pregnancy Association pointed out, if your concentration has become poor in the weeks after delivery, you're probably experiencing the baby blues.
5. You Question Your Abilities
Being responsible for a small life isn't something that should be taken lightly, but if you are consistently questioning your ability as a mama, more could be at play. According to the website for What To Expect, feeling inadequate in your role could be brought on by the baby blues, so try to give yourself some grace and remember that even thought you're still learning, you will get the hang of it.
6. You Feel Guilty
If you had a specific image of being in a blissful state while snuggling with your newborn, the baby blues can throw you a curveball. Many mothers develop guilty feelings if they are not feeling extremely happy in those first weeks after delivery, as Fit Pregnancy's website explained.
7. You Feel Trapped
Becoming a mother isn't something you can change your mind about — parenthood is permanent. This realization may cause new moms to feel like they are trapped for a short time, which is part of experiencing the baby blues and should pass, according to Baby Center.
8. You Have Inconsistent Behaviors
Healthy Children, a website from the American Academy of Pediatrics, reported that the baby blues is shorter lived than postpartum depression. In addition to the length being less, the symptoms are typically more limd as well, meaning you may feel differently on any given day. If your behavior and mood feels inconsistent, rest assured that it should all pass in time.