The ‘baby blues’

Feeling ‘down’ after having a baby is fairly common

Mothers may feel guilty about feeling down, tired or irritable

Emotional, irritable, anxious and moody? Bursting into tears for no apparent reason? The ‘baby blues” is a common reaction a few days after the birth, as the hormonal and chemical changes in a woman’s body usually peak four or five days later.

But many mothers don’t feel better as the days go by, and can continue to feel low for many months. Difficulty sleeping and concentrating is common. They may lose interest in everything and even find it difficult to feel good about their baby. If you have depressive symptoms most of the time and they do not got away then you may have Postnatal depression.

Men can suffer too

Fathers can also find things difficult. Men can experience a variety of symptoms, such as feeling unhappy, stressed, worried, sleeplessness and lose interest in sex. They may also worry about their role – they are expected to be providers and continue to work, but many also want to help at home.

When one partner is feeling low, this will affect the other

The impact on partners – Is it me? Is it the relationship?

When one partner is feeling low, this will affect the other. New fathers may feel a sense of ‘loss’ of the woman he once knew and worry that it may be permanent. Similarly new mothers may find it difficult to understand why her partner is feeling so low and be frustrated that he is not there emotionally to support her, when she needs it most.

These difficulties can be made worse when the partner feels that the problems are to do with them or the relationship rather than the situation.

The CoupleConnection has a unique online course for new and expectant parents called Changes for Me and Us which is designed to help couples through the transition to parenthood.