Having a baby is supposed to be the most wonderful moment of a woman’s life. While it is unlikely that anyone relishes the idea of childbirth, the joy and love that comes after the pain and physical trauma is supposed to compensate for any amount of screaming agony. Unfortunately, all too often women experience feelings of sadness and depression in the first few months of motherhood. The expectation of great joy and happiness at the birth of a child has engendered a culture of silence around post-partum depression and while, in recent years, the condition has gained recognition and acceptance, it is still easy for a woman to feel abnormal and, in many cases, like a bad mother.
Remember That It’s Normal – Far from being an abnormal response to new motherhood, post-partum depression is part of a biological programming that drives a mother to isolate from society and focus entirely on the welfare of her child. Not only is a new mother the insecurities and pressures placed on her by a society filled with parenting books, “Supernanny” television shows and well-meaning friends and relatives, she is also fighting a biological imperative to shut out the people around her. It is important for a new mother to remember that these feelings are normal. It is possible to feel deep love as well as exhaustion and depression.
Accept the New You – One of the hardest things to deal with after childbirth is the changes the pregnancy and birth process has made to a woman’s body. Nine months of stretching and growing and preparing inevitably changes a body. With the media cult of the “yummy mummy” it is easy to feel bad about these changes.
Learning to accept a body that is suddenly very different is a difficult thing. Build self-esteem by investing in some beautiful nursing clothes – accept your motherhood but reclaim the right to feel beautiful. Mama Latte have a gorgeous range of clothing designed for the nursing mother. Do not try to “go back to your old self” – embrace your new self and be proud.
Mind and Spirit – Taking care of the mind and spirit is key to beating the ‘baby blues’. Taking time out for yourself is vital for the new mother. Of course, finding an hour or two to spend quality “me time” is not an option when the need to sleep takes priority, but investing a few minutes a day in meditation exercises or new mother yoga can help rebalance the mind and keep things in perspective.