Most mothers go through a specific condition in the first or second week after giving birth. They feel sad, discouraged and anxious about their ability to care for a newborn baby. In part, hormones can be blamed, as well as lack of sleep. Your body is completely exhausted by pregnancy and childbirth, causing you to feel as if your life has completely turned upside down. The big event of life – childbirth – is over, and perhaps everything did not go as planned. Or do you come face to face with the satisfaction that often arises after an event that has been waited too long. In what – moments of the first days postpartum many mothers want to grab a ticket to the Bahamas and fly the next flight – alone.
For most women, these feelings disappear, and they soon begin to feel as usual, only by receiving additional pleasure from motherhood. For a smaller group of women, the sensations that arise are permanent.These women do not (and cannot) leave them.
How can you determine whether your feelings are normal, or whatever – that require special assessment? Here are some signs (in order of increasing severity) that characterize the transition of normal postpartum disorders to postpartum depression or even postpartum psychosis:
– a persistent feeling of sadness and helplessness;
– anxiety complicating child care;
– sleep disorders – both too much drowsiness, and lack of sleep;
– bouts of crying;
– changes in appetite;
– loss of interest in the surroundings, in their appearance, in their husband;
– inertness – lack of strength to perform the simplest tasks or even entertainment, as well as the inability to relax;
– mental disorders;
– thoughts or fears about harming the child;
– distorted perception of reality;
– suicidal tendencies.
Estimates show that 10–20 percent of women develop some degree of postpartum depression. Recent studies show that the biggest risk factor for the development of depression is the absence of the need for breastfeeding or breastfeeding at all. This does not indicate a weak character or ambivalence towards the maternal role. It is just that your body and mind tell you that changes in the way you live at the moment exceed your ability to cope with them.
Mild postpartum depression often lends itself to various complacency measures. If you feel symptoms of postpartum depression, try some of the following suggestions. Some of them will help reduce the number of responsibilities, others will help you fill the emotional gap so that you can cope with stress.
Satisfy your need for comfort and care. A number of nations have traditions where women are served for several weeks after the birth of a child. They do not have to worry about cooking or cleaning, or entertaining visitors. They focus on their children and on themselves. Stick to this wisdom. Relax, feed your baby, and everything else you do should be aimed at improving your condition. Ask for help from family and friends.
Set priorities. You do the most important work in the world: you cultivate a new person for the world. Nothing could be higher than that. Talk with your spouse, negotiate with him to establish a balance in the family. A newborn can not wait. An adult can. It will be easier to accept this situation if you remind yourself that this overwhelming child care will not last forever.
Practice a little. “Good,” you say. “All I can do is sit on the couch and feed the baby all day. I’m so tired. ” Exercises do not expend strength, they create them. They burn impotence and anxiety and releaseendorphins – the body’s own substances that give a pleasant feeling. Sleep is good, but sometimes physical activity is even better. The best exercise for a new mother can be a lively walk, which can take the child in a supporting bandage or stroller. (The more anxiety you feel, the longer the walk should be – even one or two hours in the morning and then another in the afternoon.) Leave your home every day, even if the weather is not very good, it’s good for you. You can make daily arrangements for doing this. Be flexible and schedule your daily walk depending on the condition of the child. As your child grows up, your exercise plan may become more ambitious. Some mothers are engaged in simulators or with the help of a video course while the child is sleeping (get ready to be interrupted when the child wakes up). Others go to a health club or pool when a father comes home from work.
Eat well. Good nutrition, as well as exercise, helps to cope with stress in your situation. This does not mean that you should eat complex meals, just take good healthy food.
Take care of yourself. A mother with a newborn baby, of course, does not have forty-five minutes every morning for combing, makeup and dressing. But you can still make an effort to comb your hair, dress neatly and take a shower. Do yourself a haircut, easily maintained (get someone – something with you to hold the baby). Buy some new dresses that fit your postpartum figure. You deserve it, and you feel better.
Talk to other young mothers. Hearing that other mothers have similar problems, you can completely change your view of things. Find some outlet where you can share your motherly concerns and joys with others. Try to meet with the young mothers from your childbirth preparation group.
Treat yourself. Will it be a massage, or a walk in the park, a phone call a good friend, taking a bath, or hours of rest with a good book, every day to do that – something just for yourself. Select that -something that does not require separation from the child.
Take into account. Becoming a parent (even the second and third time) is a big life event, and many women point out that professional counseling helped them understand themselves and cope with the changes in their lives. Find a consultant specializing in postpartum depression. Maybe your doctor will recommend it to you.