When a child is born into the world, he or she is usually welcomed with so much warmth and happiness especially in the case where the pregnancy was not unwanted. It is usually accompanied with congratulation cards and even a celebration party all this, just to welcome the little bundle of joy. When that part is over and done with, how many people actually continuously check up on the mother just to see how she is doing? Most people will visit the new mother and ask how the baby is fairing, if she is eating well, if she is healthy, which is very good by the way, new mothers might not tell you this, but the unspoken questions and thoughts that linger in their minds are like, “what about me? I mean, i am happy i have a child but i wish you would also ask me how i i’m doing from time to time, i know its been a week or so since i had the baby so yeah i have obviously healed. I don’t sleep much these days though, wait did i just say i don’t sleep much? no, what i meant to say is that i don’t sleep at all.” Mothers would really appreciate it, if you visited her and actually offered to watch the new born as she takes a really nice nap. Instead, you show up when the baby is a sleep and instead of getting her quick rest when the little monster is sleeping, she has to stay awake and entertain you.
In the first days and weeks after childbirth, a new mother goes through a variety of emotions. She may feel many wonderful feelings including awe, joy and bliss. She may also experience difficult feelings, including sadness. Sad feelings and crying bouts that follow childbirth are known as the “baby blues.” The baby blues are common and tend to decrease within a week or two. This type of sadness is often attributed to the dramatic hormonal changes that follow childbirth. If a person continues to experience moods swings or feelings of depression for more than two weeks after childbirth, the problem may be more serious. Sometime it usually develops into postpartum depression which is usually characterized by mood swings, they are normal reactions that many mothers experience following childbirth. It is very unfortunate how most of us know very little or nothing at all about post natal depression.
In 2016 here in Kenya a 26 year old woman killed her one month old twins. Police say the 26 year-old woman committed the heinous act by using a kitchen knife to slit the throats of her newborn boys. In their statement they said the woman was suffering from post natal depression. Her neighbors and close family said that the woman did not show any signs of depression so to them it came as a shock. According to a research done at the Kenyatta National Hospital, a total of 183 postnatal mothers were recruited into the research but 180 of them were analyzed, the study found a prevalence of postpartum depression six weeks after delivery at KNH at 10.6%.
So how is it that we can help new mothers cope with postpartum depression, as we all now know, adjustment to motherhood can be very stressful as you learn to navigate your new role, balancing care for yourself and an infant (and possibly other children and family members). This can be demanding, exhausting and overwhelming. If you are a new mom with feelings of anxiety or depression, you may even feel guilty or ashamed. It is important to know that postpartum depression is not your fault. Postpartum depression is a medical condition that can be treated. By sharing your feelings with a professional, you will be on your way to making positive changes that will have a big impact on your daily well-being.
Lifestyle changes can also help to reduce some symptoms of postpartum depression. The following strategies may help you manage the increased stress that accompanies new parenthood:
- Getting enough sleep
- Finding time to exercise
- Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of family and friends
- Eating regular, nourishing meals
- Asking others to watch your child so that you can have a much-needed break.
It is very important that we be very supportive of women who just gave birth. Being their support system really helps a lot in letting them know that you understand them. Sometimes all they need is to feel that someone cares and that someone understands their struggles and thus they are not alone.
Please feel free to like, comment, share. This blog talks about everything concerning mothers. If there is a topic you would like me to write about next feel free to let me know how we can expound on it. Thank you and God Bless.