The birth of a child is a wonderful and life-changing event. It can also trigger emotions ranging from extreme joy to severe anxiety and depression. Studies suggest that upwards of 80 percent of new mothers experience the “baby blues” or maternity blues after giving birth. Within a few days, they may have mood swings, anxiety, and periods of crying. This is normal and isn’t a sign of weakness or an indicator of parenting capability. Partners, other family members or friends, and new mothers themselves need to understand the maternity blues and the best ways to offer support and ease symptoms.
Typically, the baby blues last only a few weeks following the birth. During those weeks, a mother can experience mood swings, anxiety, and sadness. The mother may have issues with appetite and trouble sleeping. The symptom many mothers find most distressing is that the baby blues can create the feeling of a disconnect between the mother and child. Many people interpret this as a sign that they’re going to be a bad parent or that they won’t love their child, but neither of these is true; this is just a symptom of an often fleeting condition.
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