Post-Baby Mood Swings

Have the baby blues turned into anger toward your husband? Find out why it’s happening and how to deal with these new feelings.

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By Kaitlin Stanford for

Maybe it’s the sound of his voice that suddenly gets under your skin or the way he chews his food with his mouth open. Whatever it is, you’re not alone. Your husband is half the reason you have your little bundle of joy, but right now, you can’t stand the sight of him – even when he’s trying to be helpful.

Why you suddenly loathe him
According to Dr. Shoshana Bennett, a postpartum depression specialist and author of Postpartum Depression for Dummies, it’s normal to experience some bouts of irrational crankiness. “It can be easy to use your husband as a verbal punching bag,” explains Dr. Bennett. “When you’re frustrated, it’s easier to let yourself yell at another adult in the house rather than at an infant.” Part of the reason for your crankiness is what Dr. Bennett calls the Myths of Motherhood. “Women often find themselves thinking things like, ‘I should be able to do this all by myself,’ or ‘If I loved my baby enough, I shouldn’t need any breaks,’” she says. “Once you change the mindset that you need to do everything all by yourself, a lot of your anger, resentment and frustration will subside.”

If your post-baby moodiness doesn’t end there, finding the root of your anger might take a little more detective work.

Getting at the real problem 
As you might already suspect, most of your mood swings aren’t actually about him at all – the real problems start with you (though this may not be the answer you’re looking for). Dr. Bennett points out that if everything else is going well in the relationship and a woman still finds herself snapping at her husband, she needs to look at what's going on both physiologically and hormonally. Here are some key questions to ask:

Am I getting enough sleep? Remember what that was like? While a night of solid, uninterrupted shut-eye seems a thing of the past, don't underestimate its power. “A good night's sleep is a necessity, not a luxury,” says Dr. Bennett, who suggests having someone else watch baby while getting some extra snooze time during the day or trading night shifts with your partner to get a little more rest.