Your mental health after the birth

You may feel on top of the world, exhausted, excited, worried about looking after your baby, joyful, tearful, proud of yourself… or all of them at the same time.

Mother and sleeping baby.

"The first few days were so hard… I was in so much pain because of the caesarean. I really wanted to start doing things myself, but I had to rely on others at the beginning." Jade, mum of one

Bonding with your baby

You may fall in love at first sight, but don’t worry if you don’t. Lots of women find that they fall in love with their baby over time – the more you hold, feed and talk to your baby, the closer you will feel.

It’s not like a nappy ad

The early weeks with a baby can feel really crazy – your baby doesn’t know day from night and needs so much looking after. You may feel like you can’t get anything else done and you may be so tired that the smallest things upset you. Life can feel like it’s nothing but milk and poo.

Try not to worry – every new mum goes through this, and it does get better! Your baby will settle into a pattern and you’ll get more confident.

Don't forget to eat! It’s really important to look after yourself.

Top tip

If anyone offers you help, say yes – there’s no need to try to prove you can do it all! Ask
family to bring meals with them, and say no to visitors if you’re just too tired.

Crying after the birth - the ‘baby blues’

About three to five days after the birth, you may find you get weepy and feel overwhelmed. This is called the baby blues and most women feel like this. It’s thought to be connected to the hormones in your body changing. 

Over half of new mothers experience the ‘baby blues’, and it is a short period of feeling low, anxious, and irritable. You may have mood swings, overreact to things and burst into tears easily. It usually starts in the week after the baby’s birth and usually stops by the time your baby is around ten days old. These are normal feelings as your hormones adjust to not being pregnant, and you don’t need any treatment.

If you get the baby blues, tell your partner, family or friends how you feel.

Postnatal depression

The ‘baby blues’ is not the same thing as postnatal depression. Postnatal depression is when you have those feelings of being unhappy and they last for weeks or months. Depression can vary from mild to severe and it can affect women in different ways. You may find it difficult to look after yourself and your baby if you have severe depression.

Find out about postnatal depression

You and your baby after the birth

  • A breast pump.

    Expressing

    Expressing milk is a way of extracting milk from the breast, and this can be done by hand or by using a pump.

  • Yawning baby.

    Coping with sleepless nights

    It’s really hard to stay cheerful if you’re being woken up every couple of hours every night. Try to remember that it won’t last too long.

  • Mum playing with baby.

    You and your baby

    Imagine what it’s like for your baby, doing everything for the first time.

  • 'FAQ' written in pink chalk on black board.

    Formula feeding FAQs

    Your questions about formula feeding answered.

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