No, The Postpartum Period Isn't Always Rosy

No, The Postpartum Period Isn't Always Rosy
Valeria Sabater

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Written by Valeria Sabater

Last update: 22 December, 2021

The postpartum period isn’t always  rose-colored. During this stage, mothers don’t have a lot of energy left. They have a lot of fears. The lack of sleep is exhausting and the needs of their little one are infinite.

There are few moments in life as complex and delicate as the “puerperium” – something a lot of mothers were never prepared for.

Surely, if you had a complex, hard and painful postpartum period, you’ve heard a lot of people around you telling you to take it easy, not to give up and to enjoy the sweet moments that come with motherhood.

These types of phrases undoubtedly hide the small fear that many of our relatives harbor, which is that we will fall into postpartum depression.

However, something that not everyone is aware of is that there are many different degrees and various nuances before the condition that can be defined as postpartum depression. A nother condition, which is not as well known, is called the “Baby Blues.”

We’ll talk about this topic today, here on You Are Mom.

The postpartum period is not rose-colored: it’s “Baby blue”

drawing of mother breastfeeding her baby

If there is something that a mother experiences when she gets home after giving birth, it is “the obligation to feel happy, to be at 100% of her strength while also being aware that she is living the best stage of her life.”

Without a doubt she is living it or rather, “she will live it.” However it usually takes a couple of months: when her body adjusts and her hormones balance out. When all of those fears, pains, uncertainties and worries are put into context, she’ll begin to feel comfortable with her role as a mother.

These are undoubtedly moments in which we need help from the people around us more than ever. Your partner should not hesitate to be that other indispensable half that completes you in your day to day activities. In addition, this is a time where help and advice from grandmothers and other mothers with experience come in handy.

You feel some sadness and it is normal: You are living with the “baby blues.”

Close to 80% of mothers experience the feeling of undefinable sadness during postpartum. Contrary to what most people think, this is normal.

This psychological phenomenon of the “baby blues” is also known as puerperal sadness. This suggestive name contains in it a very common reality that new moms experience and it is caused by the following:

  • Hormonal changes in the body
  • New responsibilities
  • Physical exhaustion after childbirth which a new mother doesn’t easily recovery from due to her new obligations
  • Personal reformulation: We become mothers, whether first-time mothers or veterans. In the latter, many more responsibilities and challenges must be taken on.

It should be noted that the “baby blues” is not postpartum depression. It is almost like immersing yourself in an ocean of inexplicable sadness for 2 weeks. A little over 10 or 15 days where we feel surrounded by a mist that immerses us in irritability, tears and anguish.

However, it is more of a punctual process. After two weeks the “baby blues” disappears along with its sad melody. This gives way to a more intense and exciting music that fills us with new nuances and motivation (this occurs although fatigue is still present).

How to differentiate the “Baby blues” from “Postpartum depression”?

drawing of mother knitting in the postpartum period

Postpartum depression

  • Postpartum depression is a serious psychological disorder.
  • It can start off unexpectedly during the first year after giving birth.
  • It usually lasts between 10 and 15 months.
  • The mother is unable to take care of herself or the baby, she feels completely overwhelmed.
  • It is suffered by around 10% of women.
  • Sometimes, it can be caused by emotional problems that the couple has. It can also be caused by unemployment or even the feeling of not feeling supported enough to face the new challenge that lies ahead.
  • Postpartum depression can be overcome with the help of pharmaceuticals and therapy.

The “Baby blues”

  • It occurs right after birth.
  • It is a feeling of sadness and irritability that lasts around or just over 15 days.
  • No pharmacological or psychological support is needed. In cases of the “baby blues” it is therapeutic to speak with your partner, parents or friends. The passing cloud of sadness ends up disappearing on its own after a short while.

In conclusion, as you have seen in this article, feeling emotionally depressed after childbirth can be normal. Sometimes society, with its idea that every woman who has just given birth has to be immensely happy and full of energy, puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on new mothers.

What all mothers need is support from the people around them, as well as time and tranquility.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Evans, M., Vicuña, M., & Marín, R. (2003). Depresión postparto realidad en el sistema público de atención de salud. Revista chilena de obstetricia y ginecología, 68(6), 491-494.
  • Hasbún Hernández, J., Risco Neira, L., Jadresic Marinovic, E., Galleguillo U, T., González A, M., & Garay S, J. (1999). Depresión postparto: prevalencia y factores de riesgo. In Rev. chil. obstet. ginecol.
  • Medina, E. (2013). Diferencias entre la depresión postparto, la psicosis postparto y la tristeza postparto. Perinatología y Reproductiva Humana.
  • Mendoza, C., & Saldivia, S. (2015). Actualización en depresión postparto: el desafío permanente de optimizar su detección y abordaje. Revista médica de Chile, 143(7), 887-894.
  • Miranda Moreno, M. D., Bonilla García, A. M., & Rodríguez Villar, V. (2015). Depresión Postparto. Trances.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.