I’ve touched on this before, but it is so important an issue that I think it’s time to add a little more clarification.
After nine months of weight gain, hormonal seesaws, bladder problems and all kind of discomfort most moms-to-be have a rainbow tinted vision that when the little one has final arrived it’s gonna be all down hill from there. Of course, they expect sleepless nights, cracked nipples and an awful lot of crying but that gorgeous little bundle of joy is worth every little second of their time and inch of their body.
The problem is that however much you think you are prepared to deal with all this the truth is that many, many new mothers can suffer from some severe emotional and mental issues.
I’m not just talking about the “baby blues”, this is normally very short-lived and the majority of women will snap out of it within a matter of weeks, a far bigger issue is postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety… and no, they are not the same although they do share symptoms.
Depression is highlighted by an unreasonable sadness or disinterest in their baby, to the extent that in some extreme cases they consider harming the child or themselves.
Postpartum Anxiety can be recognized from any of the following:
- Feelings of dread
- Rapid heartbeat
- Constant worry
- Lack of concentration
- Problems sleeping if when baby is sleeping
- Eating disorders
- Hot flashes
- Feeling dizzy
- Racing thoughts
There are a variety of triggers to this condition, massive changes to oestrogen and progesterone raising up to a hundred-fold during pregnancy and then falling to almost nothing within hours of the birth. The new-found levels of responsibility to another human being, sleep deprivation and the inevitable realisation that the rainbow vision can come complete with very black clouds are all contributory factors.
Whilst the “baby-blues” may only last a couple of weeks Postpartum Anxiety is unlikely to disappear on its own, in fact if not addressed it can lead to ongoing mental issues.
As soon as you feel that your emotional state is far from normal consult your health professional. You may feel that your feelings are unique, but I can assure you that is far from the truth and there are all sorts of cures and “fixes” for your condition. This can range from just being recommended to a therapist who can help you purely by offering reassurance from a third party, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or in more extreme cases appropriate medication. For the health of you and your baby please don’t hesitate to seek treatment.
On a lighter note, I am pleased to say that there is no need for anxiety if you are suffering from postpartum perineum or vaginal soreness or haemorrhoids. All you need is a Gentlepak in your freezer. Contoured perfectly for your intimate regions, covered in luxurious terry cloth just slip one into your underwear and within seconds you will feel soothing relief.
However extreme or minor your anxiety may be there is always help out there, take advantage of it.