She couldn't fathom feeling depressed after giving birth until it happened to her.
While postpartum depression affects roughly 15 percent of new moms, the milder and briefer "baby blues" is extremely common, affecting up to 80 percent of new mothers. The National Institute of Mental Health defines the baby blues as "feelings of worry, unhappiness, and fatigue that many women experience after having a baby." Unlike postpartum depression, which usually requires treatment, symptoms of the baby blues usually last a week or two and go away on their own.
But even though a staggering number of women experience the baby blues, it's not something most speak up about. Not only is there a stigma surrounding mental health issues in general, but many women feel a social pressure to appear happy right after they've given birth. Trainer and fitness influencer Emily Skye is one of the many moms who experienced a change in mood after giving birth, and she chose to share the details of her experience.
When I first had Mia I was obviously over the moon... but something I haven’t shared with you all is I suffered badly with the baby blues. I’d previously heard about the “baby blues” but I never understood it. I couldn’t ever imagine feeling down after having Mia. - Well it happened to me! A few days after having her I started feeling really depressed, I hadn’t slept in days and my hormones would have been all over the place when it hit me. Your body goes through SO much having a baby, and while most of the changes are physical and obvious, there are a lot of things that aren’t so obvious like your hormones and emotions. . I spent at least 10 days feeling really sad and I cried constantly for no reason! I couldn’t understand how I was so blessed and happy to have my precious Mia and yet I felt soooo miserable. . Luckily those feelings passed and I started feeling more normal. - My hormones were balancing, I managed to get some sleep and what really we helped me was moving my body - I started some light workouts (mainly walking - as I’ve previously posted about) and I felt so much better instantly. It’s amazing how good you feel after moving your body and getting the blood flowing. I already feel like a new person! The natural high you get is the best - I hadn’t had that in about 4 months and oh how I’d missed that feeling! . This is the main reason I choose the lifestyle I have - it makes me feel so good and no matter what I’m going through at the time I’m able to deal with it so much better when I’m exercising! That’s what made me want to create my FIT Programs so other people could feel great too. ☺️ If you have been putting off getting fit please just do it - you won’t regret It! It will honestly be one of the best things you’ll ever do for yourself (and your loved ones!) 😊 . Yes starting is hard, yes you’re going to feel uncomfortable, yes it’s going to take commitment and time and HELL YES it WILL be totally worth it! 😉👍🏼 . . ✨ Trial my new FIT Program for 7 days for FREE! - Link in my profile! 👆🏼 . . @emilyskyefitness @emilyskye_ig . .
In a follow-up, Skye encouraged her followers not to be ashamed to seek out help for their own mental health issues. "If you feel unhappy - whether it's the baby blues, postal natal depression, or any type of depression or anxiety - you are NOT unusual or alone," she wrote in a post on her Instagram story.
"I'd previously heard about the 'baby blues' but I never understood it," Skye wrote in a post on Instagram. "I couldn't ever imagine feeling down after having Mia. - Well it happened to me!" She went on to share that within a few days after Mia's birth, she started losing sleep, and spent at least 10 days crying "constantly for no reason." (She also "barely recognized" her body.)
Skye ended her post on a positive note, sharing that working out started helping her feel like herself again. "The natural high you get is the best - I hadn't had that in about 4 months and oh how I'd missed that feeling!" Skye wrote. "This is the main reason I choose the lifestyle I have - it makes me feel so good and no matter what I'm going through at the time I'm able to deal with it so much better when I'm exercising!" (ICYMI, Skye's workouts didn't go as planned while she was pregnant.)
Hats off to Skye for continuing to shed light on the ups and downs of her pregnancy in hopes of helping other women.
This story originially appeared on Shape.com.