The term “baby blues” is such a vague and unhelpful one as it really can cause us mum to clump a whole bunch of feelings into one category. The truth is, after having a baby you will feel almost every emotion under the sun – feeling low, feeling high, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted…the list goes on and on. So what really are baby blues and what else could those feelings be?
Baby blues are the feelings that you get in the first week to 2 weeks after having your baby. It can cause you to feel anxious, low in mood, irritable, unable to concentrate and tearful. Not an overly useful list given most mums will feel that considering they just grew and gave birth to a brand new human and now aren’t allowed the luxury of sleep to recover. The thing that’s adding insult to injury here are your hormones. They are having enormous swings here due to the production of milk, reduction of adrenaline now you’ve given birth and the start of the oestrogen and progesterone getting more levelled out (more on this later). So ultimately, thanks to the crazy chemistry going on inside of you, you can feel all those emotions above.
But what if it carries on past that stage? Well here things get trickier. The hormone element is huge and cannot be underestimated. For example, if you are feeling things that are indicative of true depression, you may have the above but also things such as suicidal thoughts, problems bonding with your baby, feelings of unworthiness etc. These can be due to depression (especially if you had a previous history of depression) but can also be due to a huge hormonal imbalance, such as low progesterone. This can be more common for those who do not have a past history of depression. It’s best to chat to your GP about these feelings and see what they feel is the best next step. If it is a hormonal imbalance, you may need to talk to a hormone specialist directly. It is extremely unlikely you will get your hormone levels checked on the NHS, so in reality you will need to go privately. Here’s the link to the clinic we recommend.
Other steps you can take is to talk to a counsellor who specialise in Post Natal Depression (PND). One of our counsellors Charity Moss, works specifically with mums and dads who struggle with PND and Labour Induced Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a common problem for both mums and dads but is rarely diagnosed or talked about. Talking about your pregnancy, labour and the time following, can be incredibly powerful and can help your brain make sense of the massive shifts that have happened. We appreciate it can be so hard to take that first step towards helping yourself and we are here to help guide you on that journey.
The Mummy Space Surrey is here for you to support you through this incredible and overwhelming journey of motherhood. Just like you, we’re on this journey too, so understand what it takes to just get through a day with kids. You can reach us anytime via our social channels or by filling out our contact form on our website. Please don’t struggle alone though – we are a sisterhood and we’re here for you.