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Baby blues

Many women get baby blues during the first weeks after childbirth. This is a normal part of getting used to becoming a mother.

Having a newborn baby is exhilarating, exhausting, and physically challenging. The sense of responsibility can be daunting. Feelings of inadequacy and guilt can be overwhelming.

The baby blues are very common. They are considered normal for new mothers. Most new mothers feel baby blues a few days after giving birth.

When baby blues happen

Baby blues usually begin around day 3 after your baby has been born. As your body starts to return to normal, these feelings pass - usually within a few days.

Signs of baby blues

Signs of baby blues include feeling:

  • tearful
  • emotional
  • irritable
  • isolated
  • irrational
  • vulnerable
  • overwhelmed
  • lonely
  • like you are on an emotional rollercoaster

These feelings may be due to the change in your hormone levels after giving birth.

You may go from feeling great joy to feeling great sadness.

Finding support for baby blues

Talk to a person close to you, like a partner, family member, or close friend.

You will need support to help you get as much rest as you can.

How long the baby blues last

Although you may find it distressing, the baby blues will pass quickly, usually within 1 to 2 weeks.

Non-urgent advice: Contact your midwife, public health nurse or GP if:

you have baby blues for more than 1 to 2 weeks

Mental health problems are common

1 in 5 women will experience a mental health problem either during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth. This could be a previous problem that has come back, or the first time you have experienced a mental health problem.

There are 3 main kinds of mood change that may happen in the first year after childbirth:

Page last reviewed: 26 April 2023
Next review due: 26 April 2026