Maternity blues

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The maternity baby blues, maternity blues or baby blues is a condition that 75-80% of mothers can experience after childbirth with a wide variety of symptoms which generally involve mild depression. Baby blues is not postnatal depression, unless it is abnormally severe.


After the placenta is delivered, the placental "hormone factory" shuts down causing radical changes in hormone levels, and the woman can suffer symptoms due to withdrawal from the incredibly high pregnancy levels of oestrogen, progesterone and endorphins. Combined with this shift in hormone levels is the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion - as well as sleep deprivation typical of parenting a newborn. All of these factors contribute to the condition.

It can also be normal for the ovaries (having been virtually inactive for the last six months of the pregnancy) to take a number of weeks to return to producing normal pre-pregnancy hormone levels.

This condition may also be associated with thyroid dysfunction. [1]


  • Weepiness and bursting into tears.
  • Sudden mood swings.
  • Anxious and hypersensitive to criticism.
  • Low spirits and irritability.
  • Poor concentration and indecisiveness.
  • Feeling 'unbonded' with baby.
  • Restless insomnia.

Baby Pinks

Instead of suffering the baby blues, some women experience baby pinks when they are overly and illogically on top of the world (a mild to severe form of mania). These symptoms can be a trigger for a pending depressive imbalance, such as postnatal depression or postnatal psychosis.

See also


  • Fray, Kathy: "Oh Baby...Birth, Babies & Motherhood Uncensored", pages 152-155, Random House NZ, 2005. ISBN 1-86941-713-5
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