In the first few days after childbirth, mothers often feel a jumble of emotions. They experience a phase of feeling low and depleted, which is known as the baby blues.

But what exactly are the baby blues and what causes this condition? 

Baby or postpartum blues are short-lived low moods after childbirth that usually only last a few days. During this time, mothers tend to feel exhausted, tired and highly emotional. The latest studies show that around 50 to 85 per cent of all mothers experience postpartum blues. First-time mothers may experience more severe baby blues due to having unrealistic expectations of themselves. The blues usually develop between two and four days after the baby is born and generally disappear within 14 days. 

They are mainly caused by the hormonal shift that takes place in the body postpartum. Progesterone and oestrogen levels, both pregnancy hormones, fall dramatically at this point. On top of that, mothers are adjusting to a new way of life, which requires a lot of energy on their part.

What are the common symptoms

Mothers with baby blues generally tend to be more sensitive, more emotional, and prone to mood swings. Other symptoms include lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, frequent crying without apparent reason, loss of appetite and lack of concentration.

How is it dealt with

The onset of such symptoms during the postpartum period can be worrying and unsettling. However, they are not necessarily a cause for concern.

The symptoms usually subside after a few days, so no medical treatment is needed. In those early days after giving birth, mothers need a lot of practical and emotional support from their partners, family and friends. During this phase, it is important for mothers to spend plenty of time with their baby to strengthen the mother-child bond. But it is also essential that they take time for themselves to recharge their batteries. 

Sharing experiences and tips with other mothers during these first few weeks can also help.


The term postpartum depression is used to describe cases where the symptoms do not subside after a couple of weeks. In such situations, it is important that mothers contact their obstetrician for professional support.