Sometimes being home with a new baby is not what you thought it would be.
Between 30-75 per cent of women get the “baby blues,” during the first few days after childbirth. They may lose sleep, feel irritable, cry easily, and feel happy one minute and sad the next. Hormone changes are one cause of these emotional changes. In addition there are the demands of a new baby, visits from relatives, or other family needs that add to a mother’s stress.
The “baby blues” usually peak around the fourth day and then ease up in less than two weeks. In some women, sometime in the first three months after delivery, the baby blues become a more serious condition called postpartum depression (PPD). Postpartum depression affects about 13 per cent of new mothers.
For more information, please visit Postpartum Depression.
Managing the baby blues
- While you can’t prevent the hormone changes that cause the baby blues, you can take good care of yourself.
- Ask for help from others, so you can get as much sleep, healthy food, exercise, and overall support as possible.
- Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and use only those drugs or medicines recommended by your doctor.
- Check in with your health-care provider. Close monitoring after childbirth is important. If you are worried about developing PPD, schedule your first postnatal check-up three or four weeks after childbirth rather than the typical six weeks.
- Talk to your public health nurse. She or he can offer screening that may help you.
- Connect with other new mothers. No one can better understand and support the challenges of caring for a new baby than other new moms.
Services related to this information:
DoorWays Counselling Service
Doorways provides rapid access to mental health and addictions counselling services ‘one session at a time.’ While most Doorways locations offer a walk-in service, some locations provide same-day or next day services or appointments by phone. Walk-in counselling services are available without an appointment or referral.
Bridge the gApp
Newfoundland and Labrador’s ‘go-to’ website for mental health information. Bridge the gApp offers self-help resources, links to local services, and invites people to share their personal stories. Bridge the gApp is free of cost and available to every resident in the province. The site is divided into adult and youth sections, however many services are appropriate for both.
Mental Health Crisis Line – 709-737-4668 / 1-888-737-4668
A free, confidential service for individuals, family and friends. The crisis line is province-wide, 24 hours a day.
811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555