Skip to Main

I was completely caught off guard by the baby blues when they hit me. Truly they were the hardest part of postpartum, labor, birth, and pregnancy for me. Part of why it was so difficult was how wildly unprepared I was for them. I think knowing what to expect going into it would have really helped, so hopefully sharing my experience can provide some help to any new moms out there.

What are the Baby Blues?

The baby blues is a period following birth, usually starting around 5 days postpartum, where your body goes through a crash. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum is a huge hormonal shift for your body. The baby blues is basically your body in withdrawal from the intense surge of hormones that your body is experiencing all throughout pregnancy. It takes some time for your body to readjust, aka - baby blues.

It is very common, but how intense it is greatly varies.

What the Baby Blues Looked Like for Me:

  • Intense negative emotions
  • Long periods of sobbing uncontrollably
  • Feeling numb/catatonic
  • Not feeling like myself
  • Overall feeling down
  • Extreme separation anxiety from both baby and husband
  • No appetite 
  • Very stressed about my husbands sleep deprivation
  • Easily triggered
  • Intense anxiety about the baby
  • Intrusive thoughts about bad things happening to the baby

Often waking up from a nap would trigger it, resulting in anxiety surrounding sleep (making things worse I'm sure since sleep deprivation probably didn't help!)

None of these were constant, they came in waves. Intense waves. The periods of feeling good were shorter than the periods of feeling bad. 

What Helped Me Through the Baby Blues:

I learned a variety of things that helped me get through the low period as well as what typically triggered me so that I could avoid that.

I figured out that sleeping away from my baby and husband, and thus waking up alone, was a major trigger. It always resulted in waking up feeling absolutely awful, sobbing, and a general emotional mess. Once I figured this out, I took my naps on the couch while my husband was on duty with the baby so I could be near them. While I probably didn't get as deep of sleep compared to being in a different room, it helped so much, more so than getting more sleep.

Other things that helped:

  • Reading other women's experiences (usually on Reddit) and seeing how long it lasted for them. I needed the constant reminder that it was temporary and would be ending soon
  • Showering
  • Getting outside or having an activity for that day
  • Distractions like a funny show
  • Talking to my husband about it
  • Leaning into the crying felt like a major release. It was like I could feel my body shedding the hormones and readjusting
  • Taking notes for myself of each day to be able to see progress
  • My husband reminding me that progress was not going to be linear and to look for the overall trend to be upwards 
  • Going up in dosage in my anxiety medication - DO NOT hesitate to reach out to your doctor if you need extra help. 

How Long Do the Baby Blues Last:

Everything I read (which I did so obsessively) said that it typically was over by the 2-3 weeks postpartum mark. I would say throughout week 2 it was tapering off, and it was totally finished by week 3. The last day of notes I took was day 18 postpartum. I don't think it was totally done that day, but it was getting less and less and at that point I could tell it was tapering so less to take notes about. 

For some it lasts longer, for others shorter.

What I Wish I Knew Before they Hit Me:

The number one thing I wish I knew was that it is TEMPORARY. 

I hated not knowing when it was going to end. I was terrified it was going to be how I felt from here on out. 

I also just wish I knew that it could happen. I had heard of the baby blues, but I didn't realize how intense they can be for some people. I wish I knew that, I wish I had read other women's experiences. Being more prepared would have helped a ton.

Now That They’re Behind Me:

Obviously in the end, it all worked out okay. The baby blues ended. I have my sweet baby boy. In the grand scheme of things, it was a very short period of time.

But, it was hard. It was the hardest part of postpartum for me. I truly believe that if I had known a bit more of what to expect, it would have made things significantly easier. I would have known to just ride the waves, and that they'd pass soon enough.

I hope this gives you a glimpse into what to possibly expect come postpartum. I hope this doesn't scare you, but rather empowers you. It is intense, but temporary.