Baby Blues 101
According to Depression after Delivery, baby blues is a biological response to a woman's rapidly changing hormone levels after pregnancy. Symptoms include tearfulness, irritability, impatience, restlessness, and anxiety. Of course, the overwhelming responsibilities of a new baby, around the clock feedings, diaper changes, inconsolable crying, spitting up, and too many sleepless nights, aggravate this state.
My husband would call, and I would hear his voice, and I would just start to cry for no reason, recalls Stephanie, whose baby blues were gone within three weeks. She describes being on a high her first days home, but her mood quickly dampened as she began week two. "I'm not very good with change," she confesses. "I felt weird, anxious, really tired, a little overwhelmed—just out of sorts."
Dr. Silvia Olarté, senior attending at New York's Lenox Hill Hospital, explains that women experiencing the baby blues "feel life through loudspeakers." These exhausted moms find themselves in an emotional state they just don't recognize. Usually the women's hormones self-adjust within 21 days, and by then routine sets in and they find themselves feeling more and more at ease with their new situation.