Understanding Motherhood: Postpartum Baby Blues

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Postpartum Baby Blues

Postpartum Baby Blues is a term used to describe a transient, disruptive mood, a self-limiting condition with no known serious after effects. It usually occurs about the third or fourth day after delivery in many mothers, usually lasts from a few hours to 10 days or longer and more serious in women giving birth for the first time.

Postpartum Baby Blues appears to be related to the rapid alteration of hormonal levels after birth. Signs and symptoms include; a feeling of being overwhelmed, inability to cope, fatigue, anxiousness, irritability, oversensitivity, episodic tearfulness often without identifiable reasons.

During this period family input is key in managing this kind of postpartum disorder. Listed below are a few support measures you can take:

  1. Validate the existence of the condition, labeling it as real but normal adjustment reaction, and providing reassurance which can offer a measure of relief to the mommy.
  2. Assist mom with self-care as well as the care of the baby.
  3. Ensure adequate and nutritious meal intake for mom.
  4. Engage mother in activities she likes (if not contraindicated), especially those that are outdoors, like a walk in the park or sitting in the garden listening to the birds. Sunshine is very therapeutic.
  5. Soothe crying baby at nights especially, and allow the mother to rest.
  6. Compliment mom when she is doing well in the care of herself and the baby.
  7. Encourage mom and dad to discuss their feelings and concerns with an able health care provider.
  8. Do things that foster happiness and a smile.
  9. Assist with household chores and casual errands, like grocery shopping and bill payments.
  10. Encourage mom to balance rest time and social contact and restrict visitors when necessary.
  11. Reassure the couple that this mood change can last up to 2 weeks.
  12. Encourage partner or caregiver to watch for and report signs if the new mother is not returning to a more normal mood to her health care provider, also, if she is slipping into a deeper depression.
  13. If medications are prescribed, give them as ordered by the doctor.

The measures listed above are general and very basic. Other advice may be given based on the individual being affected. I invite you to share your experience and advice with us in comments.

Read This Next: Emotional and Behavioral changes during Pregnancy

Photo Credit: ©iStockphoto.com

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Karlene Smith is a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife and currently studying her MSc in Nurse Anesthesia. Karlene likes to write about parenting, health, and relationship issues. Connect with her on LinkedIn

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