what are the postpartum blues?
encouring and supporting mothers
by Jamal Ross
Generally speaking, having a baby is a joyful event. Notwithstanding, woman can feel an array of emotions following the birth of a child, including depression. Particularly, many women experience post-partum blues after delivery. The word post means “after” and partum is defined as “childbirth.” Therefore, the postpartum blues refers to a woman feeling “a little down” following the birth of a baby. About 40% of woman may experience post-partum blues within a week following the delivery of a child. (1) Let’s find out more about post-partum blues and how to treat this condition.
Fortunately, post-partum blues is considered a self-limited condition. In other words, this condition tends to resolve on its own. With post-partum blues, a mother may experience some sadness, crying or irritability. There may also be difficulties with sleep and concentration. There can be a general feeling of exhaustion. These symptoms tend to occur about 2-3 days after the delivery of a child. Within 2 weeks, these symptoms tend to resolve on their own. (2)
Since post-partum blues goes away on its own, this condition does not require treatment with medications. Reassurance and support are effective. Adequate sleep and rest are also essential. Family members should continue to encourage a new mother and watch for any worsening symptoms. Some woman progress from postpartum blues to postpartum depression when these feelings are not resolved within 2 weeks. (2)
In all, postpartum blues is fairly common amongst women following the birth of a child. Childbirth can bring out an array of emotions including sadness or irritability, but these symptoms tend to go away on their own. Remember, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” (Romans 14:13) God is with you and aware of every emotion you may be experiencing. He has an amazing future and promise for you and your child. And He has peace and joy waiting for you!
1. Ntaouti E, Gonidakis F, Nikaina E, Varelas D, Creatsas G, Chrousos G, Siahanidou T. Maternity blues: risk factors in Greek population and validity of the Greek version of Kennerley and Gath’s blues questionnaire. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2020 Jul;33(13):2253-2262.
2. Viguera A. Postpartum Blues. In: UpToDate, Solomon D. (Eds), UpToDate, Waltham, MA (Assessed July 25, 2022)