You were so excited about your upcoming motherhood, you couldn’t contain the excitement. And now that you are a brand new mommy with your bundle of joy in your arms, you feel nothing like anticipated. Instead you feel low and unhappy!
This can be confusing but ladies, be sure when we tell you, you are not alone. Almost 40 percent of women experience baby blues – a phase when you feel emotional, hopeless, negative, teary and unhappy.
The baby blues are known to strike post-delivery and continue for about two-three weeks. But if the feeling persists and prevents you from doing your daily maternal tasks, these could be the signs of Postpartum Depression.
During this time, you can be vulnerable and more susceptible to other mental health problems. The not so severe mental health issues can seem more severe than they are, at this point. But again, everyone has different triggers and different symptoms.
If you do suffer from any of the above – there is no need to panic. There is always help and support, so don't be afraid to talk about how you are feeling. Speak to your partner, loved ones and your trusted doctor.
You are at a risk of experiencing mental health problems if you have:
- A personal or family history of mental health problems
- Increased current life stresses (for example special care needs of infant, moving house, disturbance in marital relationship)
- Lacking practical, social or emotional support
- Current drug and/or alcohol problems
- History of abuse (physical, sexual or emotional)
- Having an anxious or perfectionist personality
- Previous history of depression
- Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
- Domestic violence
- Traumatic childbirth experience
How to Help Yourself During Post Partum
Depression can make you feel lonely, scared and confused. In extreme cases, you might have suicidal thoughts and thoughts of harming your baby.
It is important to reach out for help! Consult a clinical psychologist if you need to, there’s nothing wrong about that. It will show you ways to cope with your dark feelings.
How Can Your Partner Help You
- Involve your partner in helping you take care of your baby
- Talk to your partner to make him understand how you may be feeling
- Ask the partner to support you by sharing household tasks
- Don’t be harsh on yourself
- Ask for help
- Learn to say ‘No’ - avoid taking on extra work or other commitments
- Talk to someone
- Take care of yourself
- Take rest
- Eat healthy nutritious meals at regular intervals
- Don’t try to do everything yourself
- Step out – go for a walk, meet your friends
- Meet other new mothers or support groups
For more information on this topic, you can consult the author at Sama Birthing & Beyond.
Explore the entire collection of articles: Expert Speak