The idea of motherhood (especially the first time) is often viewed through rose colored glasses.
After a short period of warm sensual love making, that fateful day arrives when your pregnancy test says “positive”. You fall into your lover’s arms and declare “we’re pregnant”. Your partner is overcome with joy. The following eight or so months are a shared delight of nursery decorating, buying the cutest baby wear, Lamaze classes, joining a mom to be group, baby-showers and eating every damn thing you haven’t touched for the last five years.
Within a day or so of due date it happens, significant other is of course on stand-by. You grab your maternity bag packed with every possible necessity and you are driven (at a sensible speed) to the hospital where after a couple of hours of hand holding, head stroking and oxygen you push like a jack hammer and your perfect little bundle of joy is welcomed to the world.
Within four weeks your body is back to perfection, breastfeeding is an absolute joy and every little gurgle and burp is greeting with proud approval and even those sleepless nights are only short term and before too long baby is almost sleeping through the night.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
The reality of course can be very, very different. Not to imply in any way that it isn’t just as worthwhile and ultimately as rewarding but it is so important to be realistic in your expectations.
Research has proven that between 10% and 13% of all women suffer with prenatal and postnatal Maternal Mental Health issues.
Feelings of inadequacy, pressure to be in a positive frame of mind and constantly cheerful coupled with a fear of not being a good parent can all be triggers for severe anxiety and depression. When you add in the many sleepless nights resulting in constant tiredness your resistance to self-doubt will be severely limited.
If you are experiencing any of these or any other symptoms the most important thing is never, and I repeat never suffer in silence.
Of course, you should always share your feelings with your partner but remember they may be very supportive, but they are biased and untrained. Talk to your health professional as soon as possible if they can’t provide the help you need, they will recommend you the right practitioner who will be able to offer the best advice and, if necessary, the appropriate medication.
However, if you are among the other 87% count yourself lucky and enjoy the wonders and weirdness coming your way.
Fortunately, there is one thing you don’t need to worry about postpartum.
If you are suffering from perineal pain, haemorrhoids or groin and pelvic discomfort. Keep some Gentlepaks in your freezer and whenever you need relief all you need to do is pop one in your underwear. The pak will shape itself to you and the Terry cover is soft and comfortable. You’ll have a spring in your step in no time.
Wouldn’t it be great if all problems were so easy to solve?