Postpartum: it’s the blue, honey!

newbornAfter giving birth to my son, I felt so tired. But surprisingly, I couldn’t sleep at all. There were mixed feeling of tiresome, excitement and fear and a lot of other feelings. It was probably the most complex sets of emotions blended all on one moment.

The day after that I still couldn’t breastfeed my son because there were no milk coming out of my breast. I felt soo sad. The nurses told me to relax, it will be okay, as long as I’ve got the motivation to breastfeed my son, then my body system will follow that unconscious command. My obgyn gave me vitamins to help with the breastfeeding issue. Soon enough, my body started to produce breastmilk and I have to thank the nurses at the hospital for showing me how to feed my baby.

There were also a lot of visitor. I must say, that I really appreciate the attention that everybody was trying to give, but it was probably not the best time to get a visit from so many people, since I was still overwhelmed of what happening. So, if you have a friend who just gave birth, you might want to check first if it’s okay to visit her.

Two days after giving birth I was discharged from the hospital. Since there were no complications to both me and my son, then we can get back home one day earlier than predicted. When I got back to my room suddenly I felt so alone. For the whole course of my life, my parents and family were always there with me. Now, with a new baby in my hand, I was alone. I wanted to cry so bad, but I supressed my tears. I was afraid to alert my husband for something that I thought was just a spike of hormones.

As many other new parents, I was shocked of the deprived sleep hours due to the baby constant diaper changing and feeding. Since I had episiotomy during my delivery, I was also experiencing pain during the whole time. Thank God that I have the most wonderful husband that helped me through all those sleepless nights. Finally I made and arrangement with my husband, when it came to feeding and getting the baby to sleep, I’d be on duty and when the baby needed a diaper change, he would be on duty. That way we got extra time to rest, rather than having the both of us waking up the whole night.

I didn’t know why, but I felt so blue then. All the images I had of a woman, looking very happy with a newborn was not my case. I felt alone, confused, disconnected from the baby. Many months later I found out that this what the medics called the baby blues syndrom. Here are an explanation of the syndrom:

The Baby Blues
After the birth of a baby about half of all mothers suffer a period of mild depression called the blues. This may last for a few hours or, at most, for a few days and then it disappears.

Symptoms of the Blues
Many mothers feel very emotional and upset when they have the blues and they cry for no particular reason. They may find that it is impossible to cheer up. Some mothers feel very anxious and tense. Minor problems may cause mothers with the blues to worry a great deal.

Some mothers have pains for which there is no medical cause or they may feel unwell but without any particular symptoms. Most mothers who have the blues feel very tired and lethargic most of the time. Frequently mothers who have the blues have difficulty sleeping.

Possible causes of the Blues.
The blues may have several causes, some biological and some emotional.
When a baby is born there are very sudden changes in the mother’s hormone levels. Some, required during pregnancy, drop rapidly, while others like those which start the production of milk, rise. These rapid changes may act to trigger the blues.

Many mothers are unprepared for the extreme weariness, which often follows a birth. The weariness is usually due to a combination of factors. In many cases the mother will have been anticipating the birth with some apprehension. This, as well as the physical exertion of the birth itself, can make mothers feel exhausted. Rest and quiet are most important after a birth. Few mothers get either, as they are busy responding to the needs of the baby, Or, when they might be able to rest, they are disturbed by hospital or home routines or by visitors who may stay too long.

Sometimes the baby may have a slight health problem such as jaundice or feeding difficulties in the early days. These problems are very common with new babies, but they cause mothers great anxiety. The problems do settle down as the baby gets older and mothers should try to talk to medical staff and allow themselves to be reassured that the baby will thrive.

source: The Baby Blues and Postnatal Depression

It took me a while to cope with everything, settling in as a mother, connecting with the baby and most of all loving all the hectic process of being a mother. I will tell more in future post.

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