EMOTIONS YOU MAY FEEL IN THE POSTPARTUM PERIOD
Postpartum period covers the first 6 weeks after your baby’s entry into the world. You are recovering from labor and childbirth, hormone levels are dropping and you are constantly adjusting to motherhood, which is a totally new experience for you. Hence, there are bound to be a range of feelings & emotions given all the changes that have occurred. Let’s take a look;
Happiness - The moment you waited for nine months is finally here! There is a beautiful new addition to your family and bonding with your baby is a natural high. You may find yourself talking about your baby and narrating your birth story, repeatedly, to different people. Enjoy this feeling!
Feeling overwhelmed - Parenting a new-born is both, time and labour-intensive; something that no parent is truly prepared for. You are already recovering from childbirth and dealing with postpartum bleeding, healing of any stitches etc. alongside, you are trying hard to understand your baby, learning how to breastfeed & more while feeling exhausted from sleepless nights. Therefore, there are possibilities that you might feel overwhelmed.
Baby Blues - 80% of women are affected by the “baby blues”. You may feel sad, anxious, worried about being a parent and taking care of your little one. You may even feel guilty for having these feelings. The lack of sleep and hence, fatigue plus changing hormones post-childbirth are also a contributing factor. In this case, reach-out to your partner, family and close friends for hands-on help and/or emotional support. Baby blues usually vanish within a couple of weeks, as you acquaint yourself with your new lifestyle as a parent.
Postpartum Depression - It is more debilitating than the “baby blues” and is something to be on the lookout for. If you or your partner spot these signs, do contact a mental health professional immediately.
Signs of PPD
Prolonged episodes of depression, crying, mood swings, loss of appetite or insomnia.
A sense of failure, guilt and worthlessness.
Feeling indifferent to your baby or too anxious.
Not able to function normally and being unable to cope-up with everyday situations.
Having thoughts of self-harm or harming others.
Feeling scared, anxious and panicked throughout the day.
Considering all these changes - you may want to hire help around the house so that you and your partner can spend more time together, with your baby, rather than focusing on household tasks. Reach out to anyone who can “mother the mother” and support your well-being (food, hydration, rest etc.) along with the well-being of the baby. Do not be afraid to reach out for help in other areas as well - be it from a medical professional or a lactation consultant.
Babies have always been raised by a village; you are not meant to do it alone. Do not feel pressured to be the “perfect parent”. It is an unrealistic expectation, especially this soon after childbirth.