Nobody tells you that you are going to feel this way. I was not at all prepared for the aftermath of emotions that came post delivery. I started to feel that there was something wrong with me, that I was broken emotionally as well as physically since the c-section. The sadness, frustration when things didn’t go my way such as with breastfeeding and the insomnia that kept me up at night were all just the tip of the iceberg for me after Avery was born.
It didn’t happen until about day 3 post delivery that I began to have random bouts of crying for no reason. I had no idea why I was crying and it would appear to happen at any given time or any given moment. I would also become frustrated to the point of tears when breastfeeding wasn’t going my way. Along with random bouts of crying I also felt incredibly alone, like no one understood what I was going through. Even Aaron sometimes looked at me like I was crazy when I would spontaneously burst into tears. So I did what any sane person would do and googled my symptoms hoping for some kind of answers.
Americanpregnancy.org (Click here to read more) states that about 70-80% of all new mothers experience some sort of mood swings or negative feelings after giving birth. These can manifest as crying for no reason, anxiety, fatigue, insomnia or even sadness. While the cause is unknown on what leads to the “baby blues” it is thought that hormonal changes can lead to chemical changes in the brain similar to depression.
I was so happy about the birth of my new baby that I couldn’t understand why at times I was overcome with sadness so reading this made sense. I remember struggling as well after my son and even dealing with some level of postpartum depression due to the heightened stress in my previous relationship at the time so when i began struggling again it didn’t make sense. My relationship with Aaron is not toxic like my previous relationship and not only that but he supports me and helps me out in any way that he can. I shouldn’t be feeling sad and alone especially since I was so happy to have this new baby here safely.
My experience with the “baby blues” is improving. I’m feeling better each day and experiencing less episodes of random crying and the feeling of being an inadequate mother are going away. I’m lucky because even though I may feel alone, I have an incredible support system to help me get through these feelings.
So what’s the difference between the “baby blues” and postpartum depression? The Mayo Clinic gives a great comparison between the “baby blues,” Postpartum depression and the most severe form; postpartum psychosis. Many women struggle with these and don’t understand what is happening to them. Most importantly many women don’t speak up and tell their doctor’s, friends, family or loved ones that they are feeling this way and need help. Click here for more information for the Mayo Clinic on the difference between postpartum depression and the baby blues.
Thankfully I only experienced these feelings for a short period but many other women struggle with postpartum depression for much longer then a couple of weeks. If you feel like you are experiencing these symptoms, reach out to your doctor. There are things that they can do to help. Most importantly know that you are not alone, that many women feel this way and it is not a reflection of how your doing as a mom.