Having a baby can leave you feeling elated, overjoyed, and sometimes kind of bummed out. For better or worse, this sadder side of childbirth is often glossed over, meaning these crappy feelings take many new moms by surprise. That's why it's a good idea to be on the lookout for early signs of the baby blues. Because feeling a bit down during this momentous time of your life is, for many reasons, completely normal.
Although the exact cause is unknown, up to 80 percent of new moms will deal with some negative feelings in the wake of childbirth, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). As speculated by the APA, the baby blues may be due to hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and the general life changes associated with bringing a new baby into the world. Thankfully, these feelings tend to go away a week or two after childbirth, as further noted by the APA.
That said, if you feel exceptionally overwhelmed after the birth of your child, or your symptoms go on for more than 14 days after birth, then you may be dealing with postpartum depression. In fact, knowing the difference between the baby blues and postpartum depression is a crucial distinction for all new moms and their loved ones. But even if you are just dealing with the baby blues, it's no reason to disregard your feelings. You're still under a tremendous amount of pressure. With this in mind, it's smart to know the signs of the baby blues, so you can be sure to take care of yourself during this beautiful but stressful period of life.