Baby blues or something more serious?

Many women experience the baby blues a few days after giving birth, but how do you know if it’s something more serious? 

What are the baby blues?

It’s perfectly normal for new parents to experience a range of emotions after having a baby. The baby blues are generally experienced a few days after giving birth. Mum or Dad may feel tearful, sensitive, irritable or moody. 

Having a baby is a huge life event and the baby blues can often be the come down after the build up to having a baby. It’s such an amazing time and then parents return home and the reality and the chaos sets in. It’s quite normal to struggle to come to terms with your new reality as a mother or father. The baby blues are a normal response to the fact that it’s a hard road for those first few weeks. 

The baby blues usually come and go in the early days after giving birth but for some people they don’t go away. If that happens it’s important to seek help to ensure it’s not something more serious.

What is postnatal depression?

Those with postnatal depression don’t adjust and feelings of sadness, doubt, sensitivity or moodiness persist to the point it affects their ability to function as they normally would have. It can also affect a person’s ability to cope with and care for the baby.

Symptoms may include:
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling low and tearful
  • Persistent feelings of worry
  • Feeling tired and lacking energy
  • Lack of interest in normal activities
  • Excessive sleep or trouble sleeping  (aside from disturbances from the baby)
  • Poor appetite 
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Panic attacks
  • Fear of being alone with the baby
  • Thoughts of self-harm or suicide

Seeking help

If you realise that things aren’t quite right for you or someone you care about it’s really important to seek help as early as possible.

There is plenty of help available from practical support to help with feeding and sleeping patters. Emotional support can be found over the phone, online or in person. It’s a matter of finding what works for you and making sure help is available when it’s needed most.

Bupa Health Insurance

Struggling to cope? Bupa has partnered with the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) to offer the Parent and Baby Wellbeing Program. Support services are fully covered if you have hospital or hospital and extras cover with Bupa.

Find out more
Back to top