After childbirth, many women suffer mental health problems. Some moms experience trauma related to birth or are overwhelmed with the difficulty of adapting to caring for the baby. Others can’t cope with the change in self-image.
Often mothers are also not aware of what will happen to their bodies during and after childbirth, including tears to their pelvic floors. And many women then struggle to tell whether their sad feelings are normal or something more serious.
What is Baby Blues?
Every woman and mother will react differently to childbirth, just like in any physical and emotional process we go through in life. It is important to know what emotions are normal after delivery. You and your family should recognize when certain emotions, such as sadness and anxiety, become extreme and might interfere with your ability to care for yourself or Your Child.
Although having a new baby is an exciting time, many women can feel confused about why they may have moments of sadness after such a joyous occasion of bringing a baby into the world. Research shows that up to 80% of all new mothers experience some negative emotions or mood swings after the birth of their child.
It is normal to have moments when you feel like crying, do cry, or need some time to yourself without the baby around. But remember, that is just what they are — moments. Baby blues often happen in the first two weeks of childbirth.
When does it happen?
Postpartum depression often starts within 1-3 weeks of having a baby, though can happen any time after childbirth. The mother may feel like she doesn’t “like” her baby, or she’s afraid to be left alone with the baby.
Many moms are also shocked about the damage to their bodies from giving birth as natural birth often results in a tear of pelvic tissue and c-section lead to a big scar and can be painful for a week. Other moms feel overwhelmed by all the blood they are losing after giving birth.
These thoughts can be as serious, especially since most people in the family are often most interested in the cute little baby and not so much the mom.
Depressive thoughts can be harmful to the baby and yourself. Be sure to convey how you are feeling to your partner, family, and healthcare provider. Every sign of postpartum depression should be addressed immediately.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help and to accept it.
What you can do!
There are some things you can do when you are home with your new baby if you are experiencing the baby blues. Here are some of them:
Get Help: Talk to your partner, your mother, or even your doctor about your feelings. If you are living in the city you might find professional postnatal care providers to come to see you in the comfort of your house.
Yuu Fai: The Thai tradition of Yuu Fai can be helpful for your body and mind. The treatment and comfort of a professional therapist who is there for you to talk, give hot compressions, and provide massage can help you relax and ease some of the fears new moms can experience.
Sitting the month: In the Chinese custom of Zuo, Yuezhi women are advised to stay indoors for recovery from the trauma of birth and feed the newborn baby. Aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are included, with a special focus on eating foods considered to be nourishing for the body and help with the production of breast milk. But also staying inside for at least 30 days is part of the concept. As the tradition is focused on supporting the mom, it can help you a great deal to overcome thoughts of solitude or depression.
Start meeting others: When you feel ready, you can find an activity that you can go out and do together. Check the options in your local community, such as a new parent support group or a baby and mother yoga class. This is a great way to gain the support of other mothers who are going through the exact same thing as you, and it helps your baby to gain the experience of being around other babies.
Your time: Lastly, don’t forget about yourself. The toughest part about making time for yourself is asking for help. Whether from your partner, a family member, or a friend, just ask and don’t feel bad about it. And then use that time for yourself to do whatever you need to do.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (6 March 2019)