She’s Got the Blues   

London Wilson, left, a clinical therapist for children, adults, families, and couples talks about babies (stock photo, left) and women who experience “the blues” after having them.

Stock photo courtesy of Pexels

 

 

 

Babies are a blessing to couples, but no amount of preparation can prepare parents for the new journey ahead. Baby Blues is not a new phenomenon, but can be experienced by new mothers, causing a rift in relationships. With a high percentage of new mothers experiencing Baby Blues, one metro-Detroit therapist is weighing in.  

 

Expectant mothers go through physical, emotional and hormonal changes to their body in preparation for the birth of a child. While their bodies are in flux, sometimes so are the relationships around her; including the child’s father. In some cases, parents choose to split before the birth of their child or shortly thereafter. Baby Blues are sometimes a contributing factor.   

 

“’Baby Blues’ is defined as sudden feelings of sadness experienced in the early days after giving birth. It’s typically present in the first two- to five-days of giving birth. Baby blues typically don’t last more than two weeks so it’s important not to get it confused with postpartum depression,” said London Wilson, a clinical therapist for children, adults, families and couples and owner of Healing Miracles Therapy. “Eighty percent of new mothers experience baby blues. Women are more likely to experience baby blues due to a drastic change in hormone levels, complicated deliveries, difficulty in breastfeeding and relationship complications.” 

 

While a vast majority of mothers will go through baby blues, it is not exclusive to women. Ten percent of partners have expressed they too process feelings of sadness and depression.  

 

“New mothers are typically tired, sad or frustrated, or feel lonely once the baby has arrived because the focus has shifted from mother and father to just the baby. Mothers are also learning to adjust to their postpartum body and can feel undesirable towards their partner and mom may miss parts of her old life such as freedom to go out on dates with friends,” said Wilson.  

 

The pandemic has also caused an influx of worry for parents, particularly mothers. The isolation of allowing just one family member in delivery rooms and concerns about Covid vaccinations and protocols can also aid in the effects of mental health for moms.  

 

“Pregnancy can be both a special time and also a stressful time–and pregnancy during a pandemic is an added concern for families. I strongly encourage those who are pregnant or considering pregnancy to talk with their healthcare provider about the protective benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine to keep their babies and themselves safe,” said CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H. 

 

Though relationships may suffer, in order for moms to find their groove it’s important to create a band of support. Fathers may find camaraderie in male friendships and other activities, however for women, detaching from their child to re-establish time for themselves can prove to be a difficult task.  

 

“It’s important for new moms to get as much rest/sleep as they can. Support can be offered by friends and family, encouraging them to do something they love or encourage [them to get] fresh air, eat healthy foods, exercise when ready, spend quality time alone and joining mommy and me groups, [all] can also be comforting for new moms,” said Wilson. “Little Guide Detroit references new events, places and groups where you can take your little bundle of joy and other children of all ages.” 

 

Baby Blues is not to be confused with postpartum depression as the two are different. Baby Blues will subside after the first month of a child’s birth while postpartum depression can extend beyond the child’s newborn phase.  

 

Merriam-Webster dictionary recently added a new term to its pages that is a fairly new concept– the Fourth Trimester–that defines the first three to four months of a baby’s life after birth, and encompasses the feelings and emotions new mothers experience after each birth. It is important to note that while each pregnancy and birth is different, mothers can experience Baby Blues or postpartum depression in each pregnancy.  

 

Mothers who are unsure if their blues are temporary or a more serious concern should consult with their physician or therapist about treatment and diagnosis.  

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