Childbirth changes you as a woman. It's a moment that switches your focus and pushes you to re-evaluate your life and preferences. At this point, Your body reproduces hormones that stimulate changes in your body before, during, and after childbirth. Some of these hormones open the cervix and make your body more receptive to another hormone, that causes contractions during labor, as well as the contractions that deliver the placenta after the baby is born. However, other hormones also play the role of helping your body get back to its original state such as the uterus shrinking back to its normal size. These hormonal changes are believed to cause baby blues in some women, where they may feel teary, anxious, irritable, and have mood swings. This article tackles the topic clearer and proposes some helps to you as a new mommy.
BABY BLUES, WHAT IS IT?
Baby blues are emotions such as sadness, irritability, and anxiety that a mother may have in the first few days after delivery. Baby blues is a natural feeling new parents of any age go through. And up to 9 in 10 new parents have the baby blues. However, they can last up to 2 weeks and usually go away on their own while others may experience it for only two to three days. So, It's a phase every woman experiences except the lucky ones.
CAUSES OF BABY BLUES
Baby blues are caused by hormonal changes in the body. Delving into the different kinds of hormones that leads to baby blues, let's first look at how these hormones work to assist in delivery.Before a baby is born, four active hormones play a major role in labor and giving birth. These hormones are:
Oxytocin (the love hormone)
Beta-endorphins (the hormones of pleasure and transcendence)
OXYTOCIN ( THE LOVE HORMONE).
Oxytocin is a hormone that causes contractions during labor, and the contractions that deliver the placenta after the baby is born. Also, Oxytocin aids with pain during labor, reduces tension and calms you down, and helps you to push when giving birth, and protects you against postpartum hemorrhage.
BETA-ENDORPHINS( PLEASURE AND TRANSCENDENCE HORMONES).
During childbirth, Beta-endorphins reduce pain and suppress the immune system, so that it doesn’t function against your baby. But, your body releases excessive beta-endorphins when you are stressed out or tensed during labor. In this case, the beta-endorphins may hinder oxytocin which will slow the rate of giving birth and may lead to having baby blues. Again, beta-endorphins help in the development of the baby's lungs and discharges prolactin for the preparation of breastfeeding.
Prostaglandin is one of the several hormone-like substances that contribute to a whole extent of body functions such as the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, control of blood pressure, and modulation of inflammation. Before childbearing, a greater level of prostaglandin will help open the cervix and make your body more willing for another hormone to take over.
Relaxin is a hormone secreted by the ovary in the female reproductive system and pregnancy to prepare for childbirth. It helps soften and stretch the cervix for birth while helping your waters break and stretching the ligaments in your pelvis to allow the baby to come through.
Moving on, the above hormonal changes produce a sort of unpleasant feelings in the woman towards the baby and herself. This causes baby blues. After delivery, the amount of the hormones estrogen and progesterone unexpectedly decreases, causing mood swings. For some people, the hormones made by the thyroid gland may drop, which makes them feel tired and depressed. Also, lack of enough sleep and not eating well can add to these feelings.
Again, emotional problems are another possible cause of the baby blues. You may be quite nervous about taking care of your new baby or be troubled about how your life has changed positions since the baby was born. These thoughts can make you feel sad and depressed.
SIGNS THAT SHOW YOU HAVE BABY BLUES
- You may have the following feelings if you have baby blues.
2. The feeling of loneliness and maybe cut off from friends and family.
3. You have difficulty concentrating.
4. You don't feel like eating.
5. You feel sad and cry a lot.
6. You feel moody, anxious, and angry most of the time.
7. You have trouble sleeping.
8. You have trouble making decisions.
CAN A MALE HAVE BABY BLUES?
This question sounds ridiculous but the answer is yes. Males do have baby blues. Although they are not the ones who go through childbirth. Male also may have the baby blues because of hormone changes during and after the baby is born. Testosterone levels may drop and estrogen levels may rise in new fathers. Other hormones, such as cortisol, and vasopressin may rise. All of these hormone changes can cause depression, low mood, irritability, agitation, anger, and anxiety in men.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HAVE BABY BLUES
Here are some things you can do to feel better when you have baby blues.
- Get as much rest as you can.
2. Ask trusted friends to cater for your baby while you shower or sleep.
3. Take time for yourself. Move outside of the room and receive some daylight.
4. Try attaching with other new parents. This is an association of people who have the same concerns to help each other.
5. Stop drinking alcohol if you do. Alcohol can affect your mood and make you feel worse and even make it tough for you to take care of your baby.
6. Consume healthful foods and get a workout.
7. Talk: Sharing your emotions with somebody near to you is important, that helps in bearing with baby blues. If you think bad, don’t feel sinful about it. When people know that you are feeling bad, they will be more supportive
8. Pact with your partner, as this can lower feelings of isolation and instill confidence.
In conclusion, Baby blues can mature into postpartum depression if care is not taken.
Postpartum depression lasts longer as expected. It can cause severe mood swings, tiredness, and a feeling of desperation. The magnitude of those feelings can make it difficult to care for your baby or yourself. It is high time new parents take satisfaction in realizing the newborn phase they have entered doesn’t last forever. Also, women should take note of their partners with Daddy blues. This is because Fathers struggling with the daddy blues will perhaps not talk about it openly. What you may see, however, is a difference in behavior that is unexpected from your viewpoint. However, seek medical attention if your baby blues or behaviors of your partner are getting worse.
REFERENCES"Prostaglandins: What They Are and Their Role in the Body" Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/prostaglandins"What happens to your body in childbirth | Pregnancy Birth and Baby" Retrieved from https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/amp/article/what-happens-to-your-body-in-childbirthhttps://www.healthline.com/health/baby-blues#vs-postpartum-depression
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