The journey of becoming a mom starts from conception to the point of labor and delivery, and I have to say, it’s not an easy one. That feeling of seeing your baby and hearing your baby’s first cry is something most of us women would not change for anything, but reality dawns fast on women seeing how that seemingly quiet baby starts to cry in the middle of the night.
For someone who had all the time to herself, having to dedicate all that time to a baby can be difficult; it’s downright depressing, and this is what we call the “Postpartum experience.” In this article, we will be learning more about postpartum experiences and everything you need to know about what to expect being a postpartum mom.
What is Postpartum Depression?
Postpartum is the period after delivery. Despite mothers seeing their bundle of joy, there’s this feeling of emptiness and sadness after delivery. For some women, this feeling lasts for a week or less. For some other women, this feeling lasts for more than two weeks, and this feeling is known as postpartum depression.
Some of us think the postpartum experience is just a myth that people make up so women can be empathized with, but it is far more than that. It’s a mental illness that affects women’s behavior and overall health. At this stage, women feel disconnected from their baby – almost like they have no affection for the child – and the severity differs with different women.
What Causes Postpartum Depression?
Talking about postpartum experiences, one of the major triggers is hormonal changes. When a woman is pregnant, the levels of the female hormones (progesterone and estrogen) are elevated. For the first few days after delivery, the elevated levels of hormones drop to normal. This sudden drop in hormones leads to depression – think of it as the way women feel when they experience their period, but with an extra kick.
Other feelings that add to women’s postpartum experiences are:
- Overall tiredness after labor and delivery.
- A lack of personal time.
- Feeling less like their usual self.
- The need to do everything they can to be the perfect mother.
- Doubts about their capacity to perform as moms.
- Feeling overwhelmed about taking care of a new baby.
- Lack of enough sleep time.
You need to understand that postpartum experiences are not expected to be part of our experience being mothers. However, it is a serious condition and needs to be treated to ensure that it does not affect every aspect of life, especially motherhood. Women who experience the following are more prone to postpartum depression than others:
- Women who get unwanted pregnancies.
- Women who experience difficulty breastfeeding their babies.
- Women younger than 20.
- Women who are not financially capable of taking care of their children.
- Women previously depressed during pregnancy.
- Women who do not have full support from family.
- Women who have a history of bipolar disorder and depression.
Different women have different postpartum experiences, which is why postpartum mothers need to ensure that they immediately take care of the situation. It is not a normal part of pregnancy, and any woman who experiences this should seek treatment at once.