Postpartum can be very overwhelming. All the women research thoroughly about labor/delivery/pregnancy/breastfeeding but what they don’t take into account is their own well being emotionally, mentally and physically. Postpartum recovery can be tough and with a whole new responsibility of handling and nourishing a newborn baby, it can he highly stressful.
The point to note here is that around 80% women suffer from baby blues and postpartum anxiety. Societal pressures of being a great mother along with pregnancy hormones levelling down meddles with emotional aspect of your health too.
Breastfeeding is both Stressful/Exhausting
Breastfeeding is perseverance. All moms would agree on this. You have to try harder each day to make sure baby is latching, you are having good milk supply, baby is not hungry (every 2-3 hours) etc. All of this can make it hard on you at times when you are yourself struggling to recover from childbirth. Not able to sleep straight for 6-8 hours will disturb your schedule and can make you even more tired than you already are.
Postpartum can mess around with your relationships/Social Life
You won’t have time to even take a shower or pamper yourself for at least a month or two till you yourself get used to your new MOM life. This might irritate you a little bit especially if you are an extrovert. The best way to deal with this is to have your friends visit over for a few hours. They will not only help you vent out your frustration but will also help you in your daily chores to take off burden from you.
Hormones are creating a Whack in your brain’s chemical structure.
Hormones are going to come back to their normal level immediately after you give birth, this can cause a mayhem in your brain’s chemical structure making it easy for you to deviate from your normal self.
Postpartum can interfere with your sex life/intimacy.
Your doctor would advise you to restrain from any sexual intimacy till at least 4-6 weeks of childbirth. It’s more than that if you have had higher degree vaginal tears and also if your recovery process of going slow.
Even if the doctor gives you the green signal, you might not feel that urge to get close to your partner because of decrease in estrogen levels. Estrogen is responsible to increase blood flow to the pelvic area and thus increases your sexual energy both during pregnancy and ovulation. Due to decrease in blood flow, there is also vaginal dryness which can make sex painful and less entertaining.
Try to maintain a good relationship with your partner by talking out everything you feel and also trying some home dates to keep the love alive. Read this blog for some ideas here.
Lack of Support.
Ask for help when needed. You might feel that being alone is a better idea because of all the emotions rushing back but it’s not true. You will feel lonely and sad with so much work when your body is also not in the mood to get pushed.
If you feel that having someone over is too much, then ask a friend or a relative who is close by to visit you for a few hours.
Baby blues change into Postpartum depression for around 20% of women and Postpartum Psychosis for about 1-2% of women.
Most common symptoms are:
- Not feeling connected to the baby. (SUREFIRE sign)
- Nightmares / Flashbacks.
- Extreme Panic/Anxiety.
- Refusal to Eat.
- Extreme incoherence, memory loss, confusion.
Seeing a therapist is just too make sure everything is okay, just like a physical checkup go for a mental checkup too. It’s never too late. Taking care of your Mental Health is never something to be ashamed of. Pull down the taboo and start taking your brain seriously too.
Tell us how you handled your baby blues and surpassed it like a Super Mom. Jot down your stories in the Comments section below.