Being a new mum is often thought of as a joyful state and many women feel a lot of pressure to appear happy during the weeks after giving birth. The reality is that up to 70% of new mums experience the ‘baby blues’ in the first week or so after the birth. The exhaustion of giving birth, a drop in hormones, lack of sleep and being suddenly responsible for a new baby can have a big impact on your mood.
You might feel upset, a little down, irritable or just feel like crying for no obvious reason. Many women often laugh and cry at the same time! These are completely normal feelings and usually only last for a few days and not longer than two weeks after giving birth. If, however, these feelings continue or get worse and start to affect day-to-day life it may be a sign of postnatal depression or another mental health problem.
Unfortunately, new mums sometimes dismiss a more serious problem as ‘just the baby blues’. This can stop them from seeking help and getting the extra support they need.
If you’re struggling, it’s important to talk to your midwife, GP or health visitor, even if you don’t think that you have a specific mental health problem.