Postpartum mood disorders
Without a doubt, having a child is one of the happiest moments for those women who have decided to become mothers, but it can also become complex and stressful. Have you ever heard about the term “baby blues”? It refers to an actual medical illness that can affect any mother, regardless of age, race, income, culture, or education. Sometimes women experience this in the final stage of pregnancy, but it is more common for it to happen a few days after giving birth. If you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant and want to be more informed about it, as well as if you are going through it or if you know someone experiencing this condition, do not worry! Here at Adira, we will explain why this happens and what measures should be taken to alleviate these mood swings.
What feelings do the “baby blues” bring with them?
Although the birth of our baby is a singular and beautiful moment, the fact of becoming a mother can be very exhausting, time-consuming, and energy-consuming, especially during the first weeks. Sadness, confusion, anger, anxiety, insecurity, and loneliness are the most common feelings and emotions in women who go through this.
Other emotions include:
feelings of helplessness;
loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities;
fatigue or abnormal decrease in energy;
feeling restless or having trouble sitting still,
difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions;
trouble sleeping (even when the baby is sleeping), waking up early in the morning, or sleeping too much;
abnormal appetite, weight changes, or both;
body aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems
trouble bonding emotionally with the new baby, as well as constant doubts about her ability to care for the new baby
And among the less frequent feelings that require more attention are thoughts about death, suicide, self-harming, or hurting the baby.
What are the reasons for feeling this way?
There is no definitive reason to experience postpartum depression. Contrarily, it can be the mixture of many emotions that begin to arise once you are about to give birth, such as:
Physical changes that occur in the woman's body and the breakdown of hormonal balance, as there are alterations in the levels of estrogen, progesterone, prolactin, and cortisol
Termination of pregnancy: once the baby is born, the mother stops being the center of attention since the attention of both others and herself is now directed toward the baby
Guilt regarding childbirth: many times, primarily when the baby is delivered by cesarean section, women often feel guilty for not having had a natural birth
Guilt regarding breastfeeding: it is common for women to have problems breastfeeding, which also generates a feeling of guilt in the mother
Problematic environment: the type of relationship with the father and with the environment can also cause depression.
Unfortunately, this condition is not something that can be prevented since genetic and environmental factors are the leading causes of postpartum depression, but there are measures that can be taken into account.
Let yourself get help: Remember that you are not born a mother. Lean on your family and friends for emotional support and to help you with daily tasks, such as taking care of the baby or home.
Do not be very critical of yourself or your partner: it is true, it was not he who experienced the birth, but also try to understand that it may be a new and challenging situation for him.
Don't be afraid to express your feelings or how you feel. All emotions are valid.
Seek professional help if you wish: Sometimes, it is easier to talk to a professional who will be able to listen to you and help you understand what is happening to you, and give you the tools to take action and feel better.
Finally, we recommend following this series of affirmations, as we understand that it is a difficult task but, at the same time, rewarding.
Remember that you are not alone
It’s okay if it doesn’t feel natural yet. I am learning and growing
I love my body and acknowledge all it does for me
I recognize my self worth
I am capable of controlling my actions and reactions, my thoughts, and my energy.