2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
We keep hearing this term, baby blues, and yet it is so poorly known to the general public and even he alth professionals. It is used without fully understanding it, yet up to 80% of women experience a more or less difficult episode.
The baby blues is an integral part of the birth experience, just like childbirth, breastfeeding or attachment, it is important to know the reasons and know how to recognize it. Informed information will thus allow women, 80% of them, and those around them to understand their condition, and to take care of them during this destabilizing period.
One of the biggest myths surrounding the baby blues is that it only lasts a few days. It is also called the third day syndrome, because the hormonal peak occurs around the third day after childbirth. But, it can last up to several weeks after birth, without being confused with postpartum depression.
The arrival of a baby is a major change for the woman, who has given birth and must now tame her new functions and reorganizehis daily life. It is more than normal to be fragile and vulnerable during this period of life. Some studies talk about mood swings or irritability, but it can be much more complex and pervasive, such as experiencing great loneliness, despair and even a feeling of incompetence. Some also report empty stomach pain. Many times when women come to see after birth and they feel so bad, depression is misdiagnosed, but before exploring this option, it's important to think about the possibility that the baby blues can sometimes last for 10 weeks after childbirth. It is a hormonal and environmental phenomenon: the level of pregnancy hormones drops while the hormones promoting breastfeeding (eg oxytocin, prolactin) are produced in large quantities. This imbalance creates the feeling of imbalance.
The symptoms resemble those of depression, and it is largely for this reason that the general public equates baby blues with the same diagnosis. It is often said that it goes away as it comes, quite suddenly, and does not need treatment.
Postpartum depression is generally diagnosed after three months postpartum and requires psychological care and, sometimes, even medication, but before coming to this conclusion, it is crucial to eliminate the possibility of high degree baby blues. Be careful not to confuse this phenomenon either with parental exhaustion. Namely that we can obviously combineboth evils.
Parental exhaustion will also have similarities that will make you think of depression. To recognize this, somewhat simplistically, one could ask if our condition improves away from the zone of overload and stress.
In order to minimize the impact of the baby blues, the informed and equipped entourage remains an important key to its improvement. Women who have access to a caring presence, support and who are strengthened in their self-esteem are less likely to develop major baby blues which could eventually lead to postpartum depression.
It should also be noted that a good experience of childbirth, breastfeeding, and access to relevant resources will limit its duration.
It is wrong to think that the baby blues prevents attachment and good care for the baby. Most of the time, women remain very functional and connected to the needs of their baby. Rather, they report performance anxiety because they do not want their baby to feel that they are doing badly and would like to be able to protect him.
Guilt is often an aggravating cause. "I have everything to be happy, a beautiful, he althy baby, a devoted spouse and yet I feel so empty and I feel so nostalgic for my life before," Claire told me in consultation. These remarks are so common, and it is necessary to normalize the difficulty of becoming a mother. Social networks, the community, only see the good side of things: “Children are only happiness!” So,when you are invaded by strong emotions, sometimes negative, and when you experience duality, you feel out of the ordinary, marginalized, and this accentuates the taboo.
My little tips for a good postnatal period:
- Clinging to your baby as much as possible, feeling their neck and hair, this triggers oxytocin, which lowers the level of cortisol (stress hormone) which promotes the baby blues.
- Enjoy the outdoors: the air, the forest, the sun, nature, it allows you to anchor yourself and better tame your new role as a mother.
- Let yourself be carried away without being restricted by listening to your instincts. We will often tell the young mother to do nothing, but very often she needs to get busy to tidy up her space and also to arrange her new role. Being active is sometimes necessary, and lethargy, for some, is a huge source of stress, synonymous with refusing to change.
- Have fun, eat, enjoy, spend, get a massage, allow yourself extras without constraints to rediscover a taste for the good sides of your life which is redefining itself.
- Give yourself time to integrate the new daily reality.
- Ask for help. Often the entourage is clumsy, but they want to help. If he is well guided towards your needs, he will collaborate more easily.
I myself experienced an eight-week baby blues for my second child. An immensely difficult period, because I could not see the end of it and did not understand what was happening to me. Everything was violent, insurmountableand painful. Trust the time needed to assimilate a change as drastic as the arrival of a child. The responsibility is so great. The hormones kick in and the body does its job.
If the pain persists or if your condition deteriorates, if you need to settle down and be supported, immediately consult informed professionals who are familiar with this phenomenon. They can accompany you during this particular period: osteopath, acupuncturist, postnatal doula, perinatal support, relieveilles and neighborhood organizations, perinatal psychologist, naturopath.