Childbirth is a monumental time in any person’s life.
Not everyone is blessed with the opportunity to bring new life into this world. However, the blessing of a new baby also comes with challenges that most of us haven’t anticipated, prepared for or even been told about. Did anyone ever tell you how messy those first few postpartum days are or what sleep deprivation really feels like?
You go through hormonal changes and feel emotions or things you’ve never felt before. Joy mixed with fear, exhausted and even rage at times. Where did my old life go and will it ever come back?
It’s very important to be honest with yourself, your partner, and your family about how you feel during this precarious state of new birth; birth for you, your baby and other members of your family.
Help Others Help You
You’re going through a new stage in your life and your emotional wellbeing is in a fragile state. Bottling up emotions can be dangerous, especially during this time. So it’s important for you to be honest about how you feel, so your family and friends know what they can do to help you.
When you’re being true to yourself, your loved ones will also be able to help you with the challenges of early motherhood. It’s also therapeutic to talk about how you feel once in a while.
Never be afraid to ask for help. We re not designed to parent alone.
Baby Blues vs Postpartum Depression
It’s not uncommon to feel down or extremely sad within 3-4 days after your baby’s birth. This is considered baby blues and would often last around 10 days. A new mother’s mood easily changes from being happy one minute then sad the next. I remember crying for hours because we had no tomato ketchup in the house!
It’s completely normal for new mothers to go through this due to hormonal changes as you transition from pregnancy into parenthood. However, it’s entirely different when the symptoms last longer and include symptoms such as:
Feeling down or sad
Crying out of nowhere
Sudden loss of appetite or pleasure from anything
Weight gain or weight loss
Not feeling attached to your baby
Frequent mood swings
Having trouble sleeping, or sleeping too much
These can be symptoms of postpartum depression. Although they may be normal for many new mothers, exhibiting these symptoms for more than 6 months from childbirth can be a sign of postpartum depression.
When you’re going through this stage, a lot of factors affect your well-being and I cannot stress how important it is to be honest if you’re feeling anything off with yourself. Your loved ones are here to help you recover and they can be there for you all throughout the process. Never be afrid to reach out for professional help. Contact your GP or health visit or or an organisation such as PANDAS.
Your Relationship With Your Loved Ones Become Healthier
Keeping things from your loved ones can cause a strain in your relationship with them.
When you withhold things from the people around you and keep whatever you’re going through to yourself— not only are you making them feel untrustworthy, but you’re also bottling up your emotions and they have to come out eventually.
Don’t bottle things up until you explode. Share as it will release that pressure valve. You will not be judged for your feelings if you pick the right people to share with.
To All New Mothers Out There
You don’t have to keep things to yourself. You’re wanted and you are precious. Your feelings are valid – whatever they may be. In order to be able to take care of your child, you’ll have to take care of yourself first.
The first step to taking care of your is being honest with yourself and the people around you about how you are really feeling.