Baby Blues: How Long They Last and What You Can Do

‘Why am I feeling sad even though I love my new baby?’ 

You may have thought you’d feel overjoyed when your little one arrives. However, if you're experiencing sadness instead, remember, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! What you're going through is completely normal. Many mothers have experienced this phenomenon, known as the "baby blues". While this term might sound innocent, it refers to a very real and often emotional state that many new mothers face shortly after giving birth. In this blog post, we'll understand what baby blue is and provide some practical strategies for coping with this challenging time.

What are the Baby Blues?

After giving birth, it's completely normal for new moms to experience mood swings, anxiety, sadness, irritability, trouble sleeping, appetite changes, and crying spells. This cluster of symptoms is known as the "baby blues," and it's incredibly common, affecting up to 80% of new moms! The duration of baby blues can vary from person to person. For some new mothers, these feelings may subside within a week or two after giving birth, while for others, they may persist for several weeks.

What Are the Symptoms of the Baby Blues?

Typical Symptoms of the Baby Blues include:

  • Crying spells or feelings of sadness that occur for no clear reason
  •  Irritability, anxiety, restlessness or mood swings
  • Overwhelmed feelings or trouble concentrating
  • Trouble falling asleep even when the baby is sleeping
  •  Loss of appetite or digestive issues

The severity of baby blues symptoms can vary significantly between new moms. For some, it may just be a few short episodes of crying or a touch more anxiety than normal. Others may experience more disruptive effects like panic attacks, hopelessness about caring for the baby, or anger issues.

What causes the baby blues?

The exact Causes of the Baby Blues isn't fully understood, but it is believed to be triggered by the dramatic hormone changes that happen immediately after pregnancy. Levels of oestrogen, progesterone, thyroid hormone, and endorphins plummet rapidly. Combine this with sleep deprivation, the demands of caring for a helpless newborn, physical recovery from childbirth, and often inadequate support, and it's no wonder most new moms experience the baby blues!

Symptoms usually arise 3-5 days after delivery and may last for up to 2 weeks. The baby blues tend to come and go in waves. One minute you might feel blissfully content snuggling with your little bundle, and the next you can't stop crying. The good news is that while the baby blues can be tough, they are temporary and pose no long-term risk to you or the baby. Keep reading to learn how to cope!

How to Reduce the Impact of Baby Blues?

If you are struggling with baby blues discomforts, here are some tips to help you through this challenging transitional time:

1. Lower expectations of yourself: Your only job right now is resting, healing, and caring for your precious newborn. Housework and everything else can wait! Say no to visitors if you're not up for hosting. Only have trusted helpers around who won't add more stress.

2. Accept help: Let your village support you during this transitional period! Ask your partner, family, and friends for help around the house, errands, meals etc. Say yes to the offers of assistance - you don't need to (and can't) do this alone.

3. Prioritize self-care: Easy to say, hard to do for a new mom! But set small daily goals focused on your needs - maybe it's a quick shower, a brief walk outside, or asking your partner to handle the baby for 30 minutes so you can relax. Don't forget about YOU.

4. Talk about what you're feeling: Speaking with your partner, friends, and even your healthcare provider can help relieve the burden of the emotions you are experiencing. Just acknowledging what's going on and not bottling it up makes a big difference.

5. Rest whenever the baby rests: Newborns sleep 16-20 hours per day. Nap when you can so you don’t get overly fatigued. Being exhausted exacerbates the baby blues.

6. Hydrate and eat nutritious meals & snacks: Your body needs good fuel to heal from pregnancy and childbirth. Dehydration and blood sugar swings can make you feel worse. Have food and water handy for those middle of the night feedings.

7. Try relaxation techniques: Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, listening to music, enjoying a cup of tea - incorporate little things that help you re-center and manage stress.

8. Know when to get help: If crying spells, fatigue, or feelings of hopelessness persist past 2 weeks postpartum or seem to be getting worse, seek medical care. You may need an assessment for postpartum depression. There are many treatment options, so don't delay reaching out. 


What you are feeling is normal, although still difficult. Baby blues usually begin to fade after the first 7-10 days postpartum, but if negative emotions persist beyond two weeks or seem to be getting worse rather than better, it likely means you might be dealing with Postpartum Depression rather than just temporary baby blues, which requires medical intervention.

Give patience and grace to yourself, take it day by day, and know that THIS too shall pass as you settle into your new normal. You've got this, mama!

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1. What are baby blues?

Ans. Baby blues are a common and temporary emotional state that many new mothers experience shortly after childbirth. They are characterized by mood swings, feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability.

2. What are the symptoms of baby blues, and how do they differ from postpartum depression?

Ans. Symptoms of baby blues include mood swings, crying spells, fatigue, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.

3. How long do baby blues typically last after giving birth?

Ans. Baby blues usually peak around the third to fifth day after childbirth and tend to resolve on their own within a few days to two weeks.

4. What are some common causes of baby blues?

Ans. Hormonal changes, lack of sleep, physical discomfort after childbirth, and stress are common triggers for baby blues.

5. Are baby blues dangerous to the mother or baby's health?

Ans. Baby blues are generally not dangerous to the mother or baby's health. However, if left untreated, they can impact a mother's emotional state and stability.

6. How can partners or family members support someone experiencing baby blues?

Ans. They can provide emotional support, help with household tasks, caring for the baby, and reassure the mother that what she is feeling is normal and temporary.

7. When should someone seek doctor’s help for baby blues?

Ans. If symptoms of baby blues persist for more than two weeks, worsen over time, or interfere significantly with daily functioning, it may be a sign of postpartum depression, and professional help should be sought.

8. Can untreated baby blues lead to more serious mental health issues?

Ans. While baby blues usually resolve on their own, untreated baby blues can sometimes develop into postpartum depression or other more serious mental health issues if left unaddressed.

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