Why am I sad? I just had a beautiful, healthy baby!
Welcome to the majority of new moms! Where is the blissful joy we expected as the reward for labor? Why do we feel like this is the worst PMS ever?
With delivery go all those wonderful hormones. We’re profoundly exhausted by the birth process. Then comes learning to breast feed (no one told us we would have to learn how!) And, let’s not forget, sleep deprivation from waking to feed our darling every 2-3 hours.
The first two weeks involve profound physical, emotional, social and family changes. This is all normal. To feel sad and irritable is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed by.
What should you do during this time? Ask for help, rest as much as possible, take good care of yourself, and share your feelings. Don’t bottle them up and make yourself feel even more miserable.
Life soon settles down to a new normal, hormones level out, and the worst of the emotional storms are past.
If however, you are among the 10-20% of moms whose baby blues last longer than two weeks and are more intense, you are experiencing postpartum depression. Talk to your OB/Gyn or midwife as soon as possible. There is much that can be done to help you out of this common depression. Don’t delay getting help. These first 2-3 months of your baby’s life are so important for bonding and establishing the foundations of trust in your baby. There is no shame in asking for help.
Read more: Baby Blues and Beyond