Baby Blues

Meanings of “Baby Blues”

The phrase “baby blues” means postnatal depression or anxiety that mothers feel after childbirth. Another meaning of the phrase also has a literal meaning, a pale shade of blue color.

Origin of “Baby Blues”

The phrase “baby blues” first appeared in a novel, Winds of Chance, written by Rex Ellingwood Beach in 1918. It might have originated in the United States in the first half of the 20th century with literal meanings. However, after World War II, the phrase was picked up with its current meaning. The phrase appears in a sentence, ‘Fix your baby blues on the little ball and watch me close’. Following this usage, it has appeared in various books and newspapers in almost the same meanings.

Examples in Literature

Examples #1

Baby Blues by Temple Shepherd

These walls cater phony comfort
I’m not sure if it’s the bitter black liquids
Or the soothing Sunday jazz?
My stomach is numb from dead weight

Five years
These seats still aren’t warm

My hands are hollow
They will never graze the likeness
An innocent’s tender skin has to offer

The poem has beautifully captured the feelings of a mother in the post-natal period. The poem also expresses emotional, psychological, and physical struggles after carrying the baby for nine months. She feels lost and numb. However, the poet tries to motivate herself by recollecting the baby’s touch. Most mothers do not like to spend time with the baby during the postnatal depression.

Examples #2

Baby Blues by The Cranberries

“He is the best thing to come my way
Perfect picture baby blues in my day
He is the best thing to come around
Sleeping in his cradle safe and sound.”

These lines beautifully sum up the meanings of the phrase used as the title of this lyric. It shows the feelings of a mother in her post-natal period. She says it clearly that when she has “baby blues,” she finds refuge in the safety and warmth of her husband’s love.

Examples #3

Beyond the Baby Blues: Anxiety and Depression During and After Pregnancy by Rebecca Fox Starr

Rebecca Fox Start has penned down this phenomenal book around the post-partum depression and techniques to cope with it. She has storied her personal struggle after marriage and prenatal and postnatal anxieties leading to difficulties she has had with her husband and family members. She has also included some good tips from Dr. Amy Wenzel, who specializes in Perinatal Mood Disorders. The tone of the book is reflected through the title in which the phrase has been used in its literal meanings that most women go through baby blues and suffering from depression unknowingly. The title is, in fact, a point for the physicians and psychologists to pay attention to and suggest appropriate treatments.

Examples #4

Shayla’s Double Brown Baby Blues by Lori Aurelia Williams

The story revolves around the life of a 13-year old girl whose father remarries. They have had another girl on the birthday of Shayla Dubois, but the story goes on with her jealous relationship in the family and its impacts on her friendships with Kembia Elaine and other classmates. It dawns upon her that if she continues harboring the same feelings for her sister, she will ruin her future as well as her relationships with other girls. Therefore, she must learn to help herself to cope with the situation.

Examples in Sentences

Examples #1: “Nissy’s younger sister and brother were excited to see their newborn nephew. However, their mother warned her siblings not to tease Nissy anymore because she was going through baby blues.”

Examples #2: “As they are not aware of the true meanings, Jose and his friends were thinking that all blue-eyed babies were called baby blues.”

Examples #3: “Rachel’s condition is exactly like baby blues, but she has not been pregnant lately. Perhaps she has been suffering for four years and never sought treatment.”

Examples #4: “Older generation had a knitted community and family to support a new mother and her baby. Baby blues were rare during that time.”

Examples #5: “If an expectant mother is not prepared physically and emotionally, she might get anxious and suffer from baby blues.”