Transitioning into parenthood is a major life adjustment. In the span of moments, your emotions can range from amazement to excitement to fear. It may take some time for emotions to return to normal. New fathers or partners may also experience emotional highs and lows. Be patient with yourself and with each other. Reach out for support if you need it.
About 70 to 80% of new parents experience some negative feelings or mood swings that can start with a few days after birth. Baby blues are common and usually last from a few days to a few weeks. These feelings are likely related to changing hormones and fatigue.
Common symptoms of baby blues can include: weeping, impatience, irritability, restlessness, anxiety, feeling tired, insomnia, sadness, mood changes, poor concentration.
If you or your family feels your symptoms are more severe or have lasted longer than two weeks, contact your healthcare provider. There are plenty of treatment options if you need some help getting back on your feet.
Tips for dealing with baby blues:
-don’t skimp on sleep and rest when you can
-get out in nature and soak up some sunshine
-get moving – walk or dance to your favorite music
-keep doing the things you love
-carve out time for your partner or a special person
-reach out for peer support – in your community or online
-make up your mind to meditate or journal
-make time just for you – try a bath, aromatherapy, or massage
Postpartum Depression and Anxiety
Some new parents will experience moderate to severe symptoms of depression or anxiety after the birth of their baby. Symptoms of maternal postpartum depression (PPD) usually appear in the first three months. But they can happen at any time during the first year. Many other symptoms are similar to the baby blues.
The difference is that symptoms of PPD in anxiety may:
-be felt more intensely
-last most of the day
-happen on more days than not
-make it hard to function
-affect your ability to care for your baby
-change your feelings toward your loved one
Postpartum obsessive Dash compulsive disorder (OCD)
Postpartum OCD is a type of anxiety disorder that can happen after birth of a baby. It can involve things like obsessive handwashing or if heatedly checking on your newborn in response to all-consuming thoughts about their well-being. These thoughts are not based on reason. And in OCD, the obsessions and compulsions can take up more than an hour a day. About one and 10 people get OCD at two weeks postpartum and, for some, it can last up to six months.
Postpartum psychosis is a very rare condition that requires immediate intervention and professional help. If a new parent develops postpartum psychosis, the symptoms usually start but then one to 14 days after birth. Symptoms may very, they can change quickly, and affected parent may not experience all the symptoms.
Warning! If a new parent has any of these symptoms, they should not be left alone with the baby. They should immediately be taken to the nearest emergency room if they are:
-forgetting how to do things you have done in the past
-having a lot of energy, racing thoughts, and not sleeping
-having strange feelings, like someone is crawling on you
-thoughts of self-harm or harming the family
-hearing or seeing things no one else does
-feeling like someone else is controlling you
-very rapid or nonsense speaking patterns
-feeling afraid and not liking how you feel
-agitation or confusion
Your Guide To Labor And Birth (Vol. 0318). (2020). Customized Communications, Inc.