Baby blues after pregnancy
If you feel sad or moody in the first few days after having your baby, you may have the baby blues. Lots of women feel this way.
Baby blues usually go away by themselves within a week or two of giving birth. You don’t need medical treatment for baby blues.
If your sad feeling last longer than 2 weeks, tell your health care provider.
What are the baby blues?
Baby blues are feelings of sadness a woman may have in the first few days after having a baby. Baby blues are also called postpartum blues. Postpartum means after giving birth. About 4 in 5 new moms (80 percent) have baby blues.
Baby blues can happen 2 to 3 days after you have your baby and can last up to 2 weeks. They usually go away on their own, and you don’t need any treatment. If you have sad feelings that last longer than 2 weeks, tell your health care provider. She may want to check you for a more serious condition called postpartum depression.
What do the baby blues feel like?
If you have the baby blues, you may:
- Feel sad and cry a lot
- Feel moody or cranky
- Have trouble sleeping, eating or making decisions
- Feel overwhelmed and that you can’t do a good job of taking care of your baby
If you feel scared or out of control, tell your provider. If you’re worried about hurting yourself or your baby, call 911.
What can you do about the baby blues?
The baby blues usually go away on their own without treatment. But here’s what you can do to help you feel better:
- Get as much sleep as you can.
- Ask for help from your partner, family and friends. Tell them exactly what they can do for you.
- Take time for yourself. Ask someone you trust to watch your baby so you can get out of the house.
- Try to connect with other new moms. Ask your provider to help you find a support group. This is a group of people who have the same kind of concerns. They meet together to try to help each other.
- Don’t drink alcohol, use street drugs or abuse prescription drugs. All of these can affect your mood and make you feel worse. And they can make it hard for you to take care of your baby.
- Depression during and after pregnancy: A resource for women, their families and friends from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Office of Maternal and Child Health
- Mental Health America
- Moms’ Mental Health Matters
- Mothertobaby.org, Medications and more during pregnancy and breastfeeding from the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS)
- National Alliance on Mental Illness, 800-950-NAMI (6264)
- National Institute of Mental Health
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 800-273-TALK (8255)
- Postpartum Progress
- Postpartum Support International, 800-944-4PPD (4773)
- Substance and Mental Health Services Administration
Last reviewed: February, 2017