Congratulations, you are now a mother! However, did you notice that upon giving birth, you felt anxious, upset or uncomfortable? If these feelings linger, these will be some of the symptoms of postpartum mood disorder.
“A new baby is the most exciting event on earth, but caring for the baby is a major new life adaptation. Baby blues is very common – crying and irritability and to deal with it, one needs loving support, and others on hand to share in the care,” wrote psychiatrist Robert Berezin, M.D.
PPD is closely linked to depression and similar mental illnesses. The anticipation and pressure of having a child are different from having a tiny person depend on you 24/7. It causes psychological disruption that even some mothers cannot fully comprehend.
“Overwhelmed by a quintessential force that feels both euphoric and inconsolable, she looks into the eyes of a child she doesn’t know,” wrote Karen Kleiman MSW, LCSW, founder and director of The Postpartum Stress Center, LLC. “Imagine the strain, the pressure, the utter disbelief in her capacity to respond appropriately.”
If you think you might have PPD, do not feel that you are a terrible person for your untoward feelings for your baby. It is just a phase that your mental state will conquer eventually.
Thankfully, this condition is now treatable through different methods, a combination of counseling and medication. Before doing any harm, read on to see how crucial early treatment is to recover immediately. Do not be ashamed to admit that you need help, especially since the health of your baby is also concerned.
Here are some information, insights, and advice on how to get through this challenging stage of motherhood with counseling.
Counseling As A Sounding Board
During the first nights with your baby, you will discover that your baby can become very fussy and demanding! This behavior is brought about by changes in the environment and sometimes, a growth spurt.
If you are a breastfeeding mom, you will find yourself waking up to cries (or shrieks) every 2 hours. It means you will have little, or no sleep, at all. Some babies want to latch onto their mothers for reassurance. Thus, they will cry more if you lay them down on their cot.
More often than not, the mothers are more hands-on in taking care of the baby. Husbands can only help in burping your baby and changing diapers, but the bulk of the work remains with mothers.
The perceived lack of support from relatives, more importantly, your husband, can cause you to harbor negative feelings toward other people. Raising these feelings in counseling can help you process these feelings constructively. Harboring these feelings longer than it should lead to more negative emotions and self-pity. These could be the springboard for mood disorders.
Importance Of Self-Care
You should not underestimate the importance of self-care when your family becomes your top priority. Talking to experts, especially when you are usually left alone at home with your child is indeed necessary. It will help lessen the chances of negative feelings to lead to post-partum depression in the long run. It will help you to become more of the mother you are aspiring to be.
Ellen Hendriksen, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders assures, “You are not a bad mom if you have postpartum illness, and reaching out for help—to your doctor or a qualified therapist—makes you a great one.”
Motherhood is already a daunting task. In addition to that, other issues such as personal challenges, bouts with your husband, or other family concerns that will appear in the course of your life. Your life will inevitably change. Talking frequently with a trusted counsel is an option if you want to maintain anoptimal state of mind.
Most people believe that being a mother is the most challenging job in the entire world. Hence, do not beat yourself up for trying to be the best mother right away. It admittedly takes time and practice.