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"Baby blues" from the perspective of a qualified nurse

March 2, 2023

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6 min

The first few days after the birth can be a chaotic time for new mums. Meenu Thattil, qualified nurse and nursing expert, provides some insights.

What is the "baby blues" and how common is this condition?

The birth of a child is a joyful, but also a difficult and exhausting process. A woman goes through many hormonal, physical, emotional and psychological changes during pregnancy and after the birth. There are enormous changes in the mother's family and interpersonal world: Along with the major hormonal changes, many mothers experience a period of depression or sadness after giving birth. This normal state in the postpartum period is known as the "baby blues". Recent findings show that around 50 to 70 per cent of all mothers experience the "baby blues".

How does "baby blues" manifest itself in mothers on the ward?

Mothers can experience a wide range of emotions, from joy and pleasure to grief, overwhelm, despair and crying fits. During this time, mums usually feel exhausted and tired.

What do you do on the postnatal ward when a mother has the "baby blues"?

We take the rollercoaster of emotions seriously and offer counselling. Through positive and supportive communication, mums can talk openly about their feelings and fears. It is important to allow the emotions to come instead of holding them inside. We also encourage mums to cry, as they usually feel better afterwards.

It is also necessary for mums to spend a lot of time with their baby during this phase in order to strengthen the mother-child bond. We recommend "bonding" with the child for this purpose. On the other hand, it is also important for mothers to be able to rest and recover in order to recharge their batteries. This is why we actively involve the partner in the care of the child.

We also offer aromatherapy as a complementary care method, as we know that certain scents such as bergamot or rose can have a relaxing or anxiety-relieving effect.

Since May 2022, we have also been working closely with specialised psychologists who accompany mothers in acute situations and thus support the nursing team.

Midwife supports breastfeeding mother with newborn baby.

How can the partner provide support?

In the first period after the birth, mothers need understanding, forbearance and a lot of active and moral support from their partner.

What tips would you give mums for the time afterwards? What help is available?

Give yourself time to adjust to your new role as a parent. Set yourself realistic expectations and goals, otherwise you will come under unnecessary pressure. Take time for yourself, pay attention to your needs and get support from your family or friends. Do not hesitate to seek professional help in good time.

Organise an outpatient midwife or nurse in advance who can accompany and support you at home. The psychologists at the Centre for Mental Health will also continue to be available to you after you leave.

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