When it comes to giving birth and the emotions that go along with the experience – feelings of happiness and amazement probably come to mind. But sadness?
Often considered taboo and rarely discussed is the fact that a majority of new moms will be overcome by waves of extreme sadness after the arrival of their little bundle. And some of the reasons for this sorrow may shock you.
Read on for 12 surprising reasons that women often feel sadness after giving birth.
12 Baby Blues
As if new moms don’t have enough to deal with just by bringing a baby into the world, now they have to prepare for sudden sadness to strike at any moment. Often referred to as the baby blues, many new moms experience bouts of sadness peppering what should be a happy time in their lives.
The good news is that experiencing some sort of baby blues after giving birth is normal. As a matter of fact, 70 to 80% of new moms report going through it at some point in time. The bad news is that there are no definitive answers as to why it occurs and there’s no real fix other than letting it run its course. However, you can rest assured that baby blues are typically short-lived and will most likely fade as quickly as they appeared in the first place.
11 Postpartum Depression (PPD)
While experiencing baby blues can be a normal part of childbirth, they can sometimes turn into postpartum depression (PPD) which is often much more severe and longer lasting. PPD occurs when new moms sink into a deep and ongoing depression which can prove difficult to bounce back from without receiving support and treatment.
If you believe you or someone you know is suffering from PPD, talk to trusted family and friends and make an appointment with a healthcare provider. If you believe that you or your baby is in danger, do not hesitate to call 911.
10 Bonding With Your Baby May not be Immediate
Bonding isn’t always as immediate and as wondrous as you may have initially believed. Labor and delivery are often romanticized. Hence, if you’ve never gone through it before, you may not know what to expect.
Bonding is a process that will vary for every parent and baby – so don’t spend too much time obsessing over it and comparing yourself to others. In some cases, it is a gradual progression that happens slowly over time. In the meantime, ensure you are meeting your baby’s needs and providing them with loving care. As long as you continue to care for and nurture your infant, you are well on your way toward bonding with your newest addition.
9 Sleep Deprivation
The lack of quality sleep you will probably experience at first can definitely lead to feelings of irritability, stress, anxiety, and sadness. Your best bet in combatting these negative emotions is to do what you can to improve your sleep habits. This may be easier said than done. But if lack of sleep is wreaking havoc on your emotional well-being, then it may be worth trying the following tips:
– You should nap when your baby naps (who cares that your house is a pig pen and you have overflowing baskets of dirty laundry?)
– Go to bed earlier than usual
– If your baby sleeps late in the morning, follow their lead
– Take turns with your partner in getting up with your baby at night. If you are nursing, have your partner bring baby to you
– If nursing, consider keeping baby in a nearby bassinet so you can feed and get back to sleep as soon as possible
8 Painful Recovery
If you’ve undergone a Cesarean section, then you are most likely facing a longer than normal recovery period. You will have soreness and discomfort, to say the least, and will most likely be unable to simply jump back into life the way you lived it before. There’s no sense in trying to rush the healing process as you may end up causing further setbacks. So follow doctor’s orders, take prescribed painkillers if they help you and let nature take its course.
Even if you gave birth the way nature intended, you are probably still in for some pain and discomfort as your body heals itself. You may notice that sitting or standing for prolonged periods of time can cause soreness. Be sure to give yourself ample time to heal before you start exercising.
Several days after giving birth, your milk supply will arrive. And if you though the childbirth healing process was uncomfortable, wait until your breasts become engorged and rock hard. But as with anything, you just have to take it one step at a time and ask for help when you need it. You will get through this.
After giving birth, you may feel depleted both physically and emotionally – this is normal. You are going through a major life change, you are probably exhausted and stressed. It’s important to remember to nourish yourself: find the time to eat healthy and balanced meals and snacks, drink lots of water and take a break for yourself now and again. If the weather is nice, take your baby out for a walk.
Initially, you may find you have to force yourself out of this lethargic state. But once you become active it will become easier. Remember, both your body and your mind need time to adjust to motherhood – but a little nudge here and there won’t hurt.
6 Health Concerns
Now that you are a new mother, worrying will become a somewhat normal party of your everyday thought process. Some of your worries may be valid while others may be exaggerated. It’s all a normal part of adjusting to motherhood.
If you find that you are worrying excessively over your baby’s health and have no real reason to, you may be suffering from a form of PPD and should make an appointment to see your healthcare provider.
5 High Stress Levels
Bringing home a new baby isn’t always as rosy as it is in the movies. For one thing, your stress level will definitely increase. Money may be tight if you’re taking an extended parental leave, there are now more things to do in a day and seemingly less time to do it in.
Be aware that sleep deprivation can often compound feelings of stress so if you have suffered through a bad day, don’t discount the healing qualities of a good night’s sleep.
That said, if you are routinely overwhelmed and crippled by feelings of stress, do not bottle this up inside. Talk to your partner and to trusted family and friends, then make an appointment to see your healthcare provider. This can sometimes be a sign of PPD.
4 Feeling Overwhelmed
A lot is going on in your life and a lot is changing. It’s always difficult when your routine is disrupted and you need to figure out a new one that will work. Not to mention that you are also juggling the additional responsibilities that a new infant has brought into your life.
Don’t try to do it alone – talk to your partner, get support from other new mothers in your life and when people offer to help you – accept it.
3 You are Mourning the Loss of Your Old Life
It’s not gone – it’s just changed. Embrace your new life – it will be filled with exciting adventures, challenges ,and rewards. And soon enough – you’ll have adjusted to the new and improved way of things and you’ll actually begin to enjoy your brand new role in life.
2 Relationship Changes
Inevitably, this new addition to your family will have a butterfly effect on the relationship between you and your partner. The two of you will just have to figure out your new roles as parents but also as romantic partners to each other. Give yourselves time to adjust and settle into parenthood and make a concerted effort in setting aside time for just the two of you.
You’ll probably find that when you first arrive home with a new baby, you will get lots of offers for free babysitting from family and friends. No matter how exhausted you are or aren’t, take them up on it now and again. A quiet dinner or a social night out may be the perfect way to reconnect with your partner and remind yourselves why you chose each other in the first place.
1 You are No Longer the Centre of Attention
Remember those days when complete strangers smiled at you and your bump as you passed on the street, when people held doors open for you and when fellow passengers offered you a seat on the bus or subway – well now it’s all about the baby.
People may still smile and strike up a conversation but this time around they are probably way more interested in catching a glimpse of your new arrival. Friends and family may be eager to visit – but not to actually talk to you as much as to “ooh” and “aah” over the baby.
It may not be all about you anymore – but so what? Your baby is the shining star now – and that’s plenty reason for you to be proud.