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Postpartum feelings

  • Many women have emotional changes after giving birth.
  • Postpartum depression is a common problem for new moms.
  • Share your feelings with your partner and your provider.
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You and your partner after having a baby

Both you and your partner are getting used to having a baby around. Your partner may be just as nervous about being a parent as you are. 

What can you and your partner do to care for your relationship?

  • Learn about taking care of your baby together. Read baby-care books and go to baby-care classes. 
  • Let your partner help with the baby. Don't try to do everything yourself.
  • Talk to each other. Talking about your feelings can help keep you both from feeling hurt and frustrated. 
  • Make time for just the two of you. Go for a walk or out to dinner. Ask someone you trust to take care of the baby for an hour or two. 
  • Ask your provider about when it's OK for you to have sex again. Most likely she'll say to wait about 4 weeks. This gives your body time to heal after labor and birth. 

Last reviewed December 2013

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression (PPD) is intense feelings of sadness that last for a long time after having a baby. About 1 in 8 women have postpartum depression. In fact, it's the most common problem for new moms. It can happen any time in the first 3 months after a baby is born. Signs of PPD include feeling tired all the time, having no interest in your usual activities, gaining or losing weight, changing your eating habits, having trouble sleeping or concentrating, and thinking about suicide or death. If you have five or more of these signs and they last for 2 weeks or longer, you may have PPD. Tell your health care provider about your feelings. She can give you treatment that can help you feel better.

What are the baby blues?

Baby blues are feelings of sadness you may have 3 to 5 days after having a baby. These feelings most likely are caused by all the hormones in your body right after pregnancy. You may feel sad or cranky, and you may cry a lot. By about 10 days after the baby's birth, the baby blues should go away. If they don't, tell your health care provider.

What can I do to get rid of the baby blues?

Talk to your partner or a good friend about how you're feeling. It's really common to have the baby blues, and talking about your feelings may help you feel better. Get plenty of rest. It's hard to rest with a new baby to take care of! Try to sleep when the baby sleeps. Ask your partner, friends and family to help you take care of the baby and chores around the house. It's OK to ask for help so you don't feel like you have to do everything yourself. Finally, get out of the house every day, even if it’s for a short time. Don't feel like you have to stay home all day by yourself. Getting up and out of the house can make you feel energized and back in touch with the rest of the world.

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