PARENTS

B: What Are Baby Blues?

16/02/2010 09:24 | Updated 22 May 2015

Baby blues are a completely normal emotional event that many women experience shortly after giving birth.

It is caused by a rush of hormones that normally coincide with a woman's milk 'coming in', which usually happens three days after the birth.

The symptoms of baby blues include feeling weepy and upset, often for no apparent reason. It will normally last for a few days, and many women find it useful and comforting to talk these feelings through with a midwife, who can reassure them that how they are feeling is very normal.

Additionally, talking to another mother or confiding in a partner or trusted friend is often enough to help a woman through the baby blues period.

It is important not to confuse baby blues with postnatal depression (PND) as this is a much more significant issue. If the baby blues continue for a prolonged period, worsen or begin a few weeks after the birth, PND is likely to be a factor.

PND differs to baby blues as it brings a series of other more significant feelings, including detachment; unhappiness; weepiness or an inability to cry at all; anxiety and feelings of failure or an inability to cope.

It is a common condition and affects around 12 per cent of women, and treatments are highly effective. A woman experiencing these feelings should consult her doctor or health visitor, who will be able to advise the best method of treating the condition.

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