I went through a pretty bad case of postpartum blues, which took me by surprise. I had been so looking forward to the baby that it never occured to me that I would feel anything but deliriously happy when the baby was born! I was a sleep-deprived, weepy, anxious, exhausted and a very moody new mom. It started the very next day. The hospital room, which I had to share with another person, did not help. I was in the windowless part of the room and the small area was claustrophobic. My little one was 3.5 weeks early and was tongue tied. So nursing was a very traumatic time for me as well as the baby (both of us would cry the whole time!). We had just moved to a new house and were not properly set up (we still have some stuff at my old place, after 3 months!) I was very overwhelmed with everything. I'd cry for no reason and would not stop! After a particularly bad bout, my mom gave me a biosalt called KaliPhos (my mom is a big homeopathy buff). It helped me have a good night's sleep and overcome the worst phase. Talking to others who went through it helped tremendously. Actually, just talking to people helped. I have been lucky that I had people who understood what I was going through and were there for me. It surprised me to know that almost 80% of postpartum women experience some form of the blues!
In India, a woman is in confinement for 40 days after birth of the baby, when she is forced to rest & to recuperate from the childbirth. She is given oil massages and hot baths everyday. Her food intake is carefully monitored. There's wisdom in many of the traditional practices. During the first 6 weeks after delivery, the pregnancy pounds are relatively easier to come off. It gets more difficult to lose weight after that period. With the traditional diet that I was put under for the 40 days, which had 1-2 spoons full of ghee at every meal(!), I lost 21 of the 27 pounds that I had gained during the pregnancy! The diet had adequate nutrition for me as well as the nursing baby. It also helped with lactation. It seems astounding to me that people centuries ago, with no education to speak of, could devise such a diet (vegetarian at that)!
If you know of any person going through the blues, please, please visit and/or call them often. Have them get a full night's sleep at least once. It helps a lot! KP, the biosalt, is available at homeopathy stores and online. Encourage them to go out and do something they love. It may take weeks but it will pass eventually. Just be there for them. They need you.