Beating The Blues

Postpartum blues, also known as baby blues, are the common but mild form of depression a new mother experiences after labour and delivery. It usually develops within the first two weeks following childbirth. However, bear in mind that postpartum blues is not an illness and will automatically disappear on its own.

What Causes it?

The exact causes of postpartum blues are unknown, but many believe that the dramatic physical and hormonal changes in the mother’s body may produce chemical changes in the brain that results in the blues.

Husbands, Take Note!

The symptoms of postpartum blues are rather mild, yet they can take a toll on your wife. Women who generally have low self-esteem, lack emotional support, and have unreal perceptions of motherhood are at a higher risk for experiencing postpartum blues. Here are the symptoms that you should look for if you think your wife has developed postpartum blues:

  • Depressed mood
  • Have difficulties in sleeping
  • Inability to enjoy pleasurable activities
  • Feelings of inadequacy as a parent
  • Fatigue

Chasing the Blues Away

After giving birth, you may feel exhausted, uncomfortable and sleep-deprived. Here are several steps you can take to beat the blues:

  • Ensure that you get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate the blues. In fact, research has shown that sleep deprivation causes the brain’s emotional centres to be 60% more reactive. So, make an effort to rest. Even a ten-minute nap can do wonders to lift your mood.
  • Talk to people. Do not be ashamed to share your feelings with your partner. When you share what you are feeling, it helps you to feel less overwhelmed. In fact, moms can consider joining support groups as this allows them to voice out their feelings and emotions in an educational and supportive environment.
  • Allow yourself to cry. If you want to cry, let it out. Crying is actually a form of communication and believe it or not, crying is therapeutic and helps to relieve you of your tension and stress. Suppressing your emotions can only serve to prolong the blues.
  • Eat healthy. What you eat does affect your mood. Keep track of what you are eating. Studies have shown that foods that are high in omega-3 fats like soybeans, walnuts, tofu and sardines can help to elevate your mood.

What Happens if the Blues Worsen?

If the blues do not lift in two weeks, there is a big possibility that you may be experiencing something more severe called postnatal depression. Seek medical attention immediately as staying in a prolonged state of postnatal depression can negatively interfere with your parenting experience.

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