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  • adellemarie

Which shade of blue are you?

A quick Google search of ‘baby blues‘ provides lots of resources covering mild to severe symptoms. But what exactly are the ‘baby blues?’

The NHS website states that symptoms of baby blues can include :

  • feeling emotional and bursting into tears for no apparent reason

  • feeling irritable or touchy

  • low mood

  • anxiety and restlessness

It reassuringly states that “All these symptoms are normal and usually only last for a few days.”

Similarly the NCT website advises that the baby blues are “Not just an old wives’ tale, the baby blues are real, affecting up to 80% of women after they give birth. Women who experience the baby blues can expect to feel down for a little while shortly after having their baby.”

Hormones seem to be the culprit for these feelings with the exact cause still being unknown. There are so many additional factors to consider when we are questioning why we feel all of the above and more. Every single pregnancy story is different. We all have different lifestyles, incomes, family sizes and support networks. So it is unsurprising that some new Mums may feel different to the new Mum sitting next to them. The most important fact to know is that you are not alone and there is absolutely no shame in feeling sad, mixed up, scared and unsure. It is important to talk and share your feelings with a loved one or a trusted friend or a health care professional. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness or failure which I wish I could have told myself after my second baby was born.

With hindsight, I think I actually suffered from antenatal depression during my second pregnancy. I suffered from HG (hyperemesis gravidarum) for the second time which meant that I was struggling to work. I felt that all the work I had done to build my photography business back up after my maternity leave with my first child was wasted as I could barely leave the house. Caring for my toddler on my own all day and dealing with HG was such a challenge. He didn’t understand why I was so poorly and we couldn’t go out on our usual adventures. The feelings of guilt were strong which only deepened when there was a family bereavement when I was 12 weeks pregnant. It was such a difficult time for everyone and I felt unable to talk about my feelings when everyone around me was struggling. My unborn baby was focused on as the ray of hope and happiness we all needed.

I had been contacted after my 12-week antenatal tests to advise that my baby was at high ‘risk’ of having Down Syndrome. It was such an unusual experience in the way that the test results were communicated. I was asked to visit the hospital to discuss my options and given advice about Amniocentesis tests and information about termination if we didn’t want to continue with the pregnancy. I didn’t want any further tests. I wanted my baby with or without Down Syndrome. Another thing I wanted was a VBAC. My first baby was delivered via emergency cesarean so I wanted to try a natural birth. I went 13 days past my due date only to end up being rushed into surgery again. Everyone says “It doesn’t matter as long as your baby is safe.” Whilst the baby’s safety is obviously paramount I never understand why the mother’s wishes are dismissed in such a way. I have since realised it is ok to be glad that your baby is safe and be disappointed that the birth was not how you had envisioned.

I’m going to fast-forward to my second baby being 9 months old. This is when I found myself sitting in front of a wonderfully supportive female GP. I had pretended to be ok for too long. Post-natal depression in my experience can zap the joy out of your days. I loved being a Mum of two but I didn’t know who I was anymore. I had almost become a robot just getting through each day, doing the best I could for my two boys. It doesn’t have to be this way though but at some point, we need to reach out for help. I was embarrassed and ashamed and I had so many intrusive thoughts that the GP was going to say I was an unfit mother etc etc. Don’t believe the lies we tell ourselves. Help and support is available. A charity in Stafford that I have followed for a while on Instagram that has often posted words that really resonate with how I have felt in the past is Stafford Pandas. They are now based at the Castlechurch Community Hub which is a wonderful and welcoming space for all.

Stafford PANDAS have a free helpline 0808 1961 776 and they meet every Wednesday,

9.30am – 11am at

Castlechurch Community Hub Tennyson Road Stafford ST17 9SY United Kingdom

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