If after childbirth you experience feelings of worry, anguish, and despair, it is considered 'Baby Blues'. It can be mistaken for postpartum depression. This translates into the evasion of emotions such as sadness.
Before defining the term 'Baby Blues', it is pertinent to mention that the way of approaching this concept, in this case, is not based on psychological investigations and statistical appreciation but on philosophical theories elaborated by Byung-Chul Han. In order to understand a phenomenon of emotional classification that under the logic of modernity is exacerbated more and more in the name of hyperproductivity.
The term 'Baby Blues' refers to postpartum blues and is used to define mood swings, as well as feelings of worry, anguish, and despair. Experiences that women who give birth go through during the first weeks after delivery. What analytically translates into a socio-cultural evasion of emotions such as sadness.
But the question beyond what is baby blues? It is: Why do Western and Westernized societies seek to suppress sadness? And why was the psychological category 'Baby Blues' created? What is different from postpartum depression? Well, precisely because we find ourselves involved in neoliberal mechanisms of evasion and emotional eradication.
The critical treatment of the concept allows us to understand why these notions appear to continue classifying "dangerous emotions". A phenomenon that grows more and more; conditioning the life and experience of pregnant women. What also fills with fear some women who think or want to have children and decide not to do it for fear of postpartum depression, or for many other reasons, which of course is respectable. Although that is not the case, the fact is that we continue to consume signs and labels that produce a feeling of guilt for the emotions we experience.
Emotions have historically been classified into two opposing groups: “good” and “bad”. In modernity, sadness is a dangerous emotion because it is unproductive. What is interesting, is if we reflect on other emotions that are conceived as "bad" or undesirable, such as; anger, rage, frustration, anguish, discontent… emotions that in turn have promoted transformations, agglomerations, movements, and social revolutions.
Consequently, the fact of believing that a mother does not undergo changes in her body, psyche, thought, emotionality, and life, is undoubtedly a complete illusion. Well, there is nothing more transforming and confronting than motherhood and fatherhood, when assumed responsibly. In addition, from a psychological vision detached from toxic positivism, sadness; like all emotions, has something important to tell us and teach us. There is wisdom in every emotion we go through, what happens is that we have been taught to ignore them.
The fantasy that derives from the excess of positivity that governs our time, as the philosopher Byung-Chul Han would say, explains the existence of the concept 'Babu Blues' to name postpartum sadness, as a mechanism to label subjective experiences that in practice are they live intensely. Well, it is no secret to anyone that at a chemical level, for example, during the gestation process, women suffer important alterations in their bodies, such as a drop in estrogen levels, while prolactin and oxytocin levels increase. Like dopamine doses, which can rise or fall wildly.
The problem then lies in the fact that, in a society of over-productivity and individualism, resting or maternity in a loving and balanced way that promotes the well-being of the newborn, the mother, and the father, seems to be a privilege. Because now, the idea of a woman is to be strong, independent, capable, successful, brilliant, and, if possible, also a good mother.
What is a huge burden for us is that by supporting it alone, we end up exhausting ourselves and sacrificing our mental health. We cannot rest, much less if we do not have support networks and affective ties that accompany our maternity and parenting processes. We must resist individual isolation, the neoliberalism that governs life itself, and maternal self-sacrifice. The world does not need "good mothers" or mothers who always pretend to be happy. The world needs more mothers who remain themselves and don't deny their emotions. The world needs more authentic and critical mothers.