baby blues

A New Dad’s Guide to His Partner’s “Baby Blues”

Dear Mr. Dad: My beautiful son was born just a few weeks ago and I’m overjoyed. But my wife is a different story. She’s very down in the dumps, barely eats, and has no energy. I know that giving birth took a toll on her, but I’m worried. What should I do?

A: About 70% of new mothers experience periods of mild sadness, weepiness, mood swings, sleep deprivation, loss of appetite, inability to make decisions, anger, or anxiety after the baby is born. These “baby blues,” which many believe are caused by hormonal shifts in a new mother’s body, can last for hours or days, but in most cases, they disappear within a few weeks. One researcher Edward Hagen, however, believes that postpartum blues has less to do with hormones and is really caused by low levels of social support—especially from the father. It could be, he says, the new mother’s way of “negotiating” for more involvement.

From your description, your wife is already exhibiting some of the symptoms of baby blues. Right now, there’s not much you can do except be as supportive and involved as possible. Take on more of the childcare responsibilities, encourage her to get out of the house for a while, and see to it that she’s eating healthily. Most of what she’s going through is completely normal and is nothing to worry about. So be patient, and don’t expect her to bounce back immediately.


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Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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