Motherhood is a completely different experience that no one can prepare you for. It brings with itself a beautiful set of experiences, while also coming in with its own slew of challenges and demands. For that matter, so is becoming a new father. Expectant mothers and new mothers are in a place where they experience tremendous changes in their bodies and minds. About 80% of women go through feelings of anxiety, restlessness, random crying, tearfulness, sadness. A majority of them also have relationship concerns with their spouse / partners, in-laws, colleagues. Constant mood fluctuations coupled with sleep deprivation, takes a toll. This is a general state both, during pregnancy and after child birth. These emotions are even aggravated when one is going through a stressed pregnancy. Unfortunately, around 22% of new mothers in India get diagnosed with post-partum depression each year.
Common Areas of Concern
- Mood Swings
- Fear / nervousness
- Lack of proper knowledge
- Lack of understanding about Post-Partum Depression
- Body Image issues
- Difficult family relationships
- Unrealistic Personal Expectations
- Practical Concerns – Being financially prepared
- Mothers who have to resume work
The journey of a new mother, and for that matter even a new father, is both exciting and overwhelming. Being an expectant mother or a new mother can be challenging. I am sure lots of mothers have felt this at some point “I love my baby but why do I feel so blue? You have given birth to a beautiful baby and everyone is ecstatic, everyone except you. Why do you feel blue? There is a phenomenon a lot of women experience called post partum depression. You aren’t alone. A lot of new mothers experience some sort of emotional vulnerability after child birth. This is because your body is trying to adjust to the new change and your hormones at work. Some of the symptoms of post partum depression can be anxiousness, feeling sad, crying a lot, unable to sleep, anger, fatigue, negative feelings such as sadness, hopelessness, and changes in appetite.
Apart from this, post partum anxiety is also found in many mothers. Some of the symptoms of anxiety are feeling restless, shortness of breath, chest pains, and dizziness, tingling in hands or feet, trembling and shaking. Since these are prevalent in about 80% women taking preventive measures is important since you are now, also responsible for the new addition to the family or if you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms try talking to a professional regarding it. Dealing with post partum depression for your partner can also be difficult so getting some rest whenever it is possible is important for the both of you. You must share your feelings, try taking care of your outside -taking care of your physical self can sometimes help you feel better inside. Have your partner or a friend watch your baby so you can take a relaxing shower or spending some quality time as a couple can be helpful. Some women also face a strain in their relationship with their partners. It is an overwhelming time for the both of you as new parents. Taking turns in nurturing the baby and sharing your feelings can help build the relationship and make the journey less challenging. Some women also find it extremely difficult coming to terms with their body image during and after pregnancy. This can add to the whole “feeling blue” so seek help by talking to a professional about it.
Many women find it helpful to proactively enter therapy when they find it challenging when they have a new member as a part of the family and when they are responsible for them.
Uthista Ram Thota
Bsc Psychology, Msc Psychology and
P.G. Diploma Applied Child Psychology (U. K)
For more: Online Psychological Counseling