Being more tearful than usual after giving birth is very normal. Think about what you’ve gone through in the last few days or weeks. The physical marathon of labor and delivery, the emotional experience of meeting your new baby, sleep deprivation, learning/beginning to care for your child, possibly hosting people as they meet baby, it. has. been. a lot.
Your hormones are also in a rapid state of change. If you experience emotional fluctuations around your period, you already know how hormones can influence your emotional state. And this change in hormone levels is much greater than that of regular menses.
“Baby Blues” is a phrase often used to describe feelings of anxiety, sadness and tearfulness, feeling overwhelmed, and uncertainty that 60-80% of women feel for up to a few hours per day for about two weeks postpartum. These feelings usually peak 3-5 days after you deliver baby. In “Baby Blues” your main mood is still neutral to happy.
If you are feeling sad/anxious/tearful after two weeks, OR if it has been less than two weeks and it feels like you are dealing with this for most of the day, give your provider, or a mental health therapist a call and ask for some extra support. You may be experiencing a postpartum mood disorder (Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, BiPolar, PTSD, Psychosis) . These are very common in new mothers (21% experience it), it is not something you can will away, and it is treatable!
To take the best care of your baby, you need to take great care of yourself. Take care mama! Warmly, Jenny Schermerhorn, Licensed Mental Health Therapist. Specializing in the Journey and Transition to Motherhood.
This article is not meant to take the place of a relationship with a trained mental health therapist, or a medical professional. It is not meant to provide diagnosis of a mental health disorder. If you are experiencing a physical or mental health emergency, please dial 9-1-1