You had a baby! How wonderful?
Having a baby can feel wonderful especially if you’ve been trying for a while but it’s generally also really hard on your physical and emotional body as well.
Babies are boring- Babies are absolutely wonderful. Sometimes with your newborn, your may feel completely overwhelmed and feel as though you hardly have time to brush your teeth or even take a moment to get up and go to the bathroom. But life can also feel incredibly boring and monotonous with them. You may also become incredibly frustrated getting “stuck” in the house with your newborn a lot of the time. Find some ways to get some exercise in or out of the house as well as some ways to make at least tiny bit of time for yourself.
Traumatic Births- Perhaps you had a “traumatic birth,” you were rushed in for an emergency c-section, you had a significant amount of tearing, you lost a lot of blood or had other serious complications during the birth process. While these traumatic births are not the norm for most women, they happen to many, many women. You have nothing to be ashamed of and this experience may have left you feeling angry or fearful. Talk to some other moms who have had similar experiences, find some reading on traumatic birth experiences or a therapist who can help you cope more effectively with these emotions.
Birth wasn’t traumatic but it wasn’t what you “wanted”- Your child’s birth doesn’t have to have been a traumatic experience to have left you feeling angry, ashamed, sad, or fearful. A lot of people feel pressure to have a birth that follows a planned course. But the reality is, sometimes you may have wished one or two things had gone differently. This probably happens to most women. The reality is, you cannot plan everything to be the way you wanted, and you have the right to feel frustrated with how things turned out. Again, find some mom friends to discuss your experiences with, find some reading online, or talk to a therapist about your feelings.
Post Partum Depression- Post partum depression still does not get discussed enough. It is so common. It strikes me that a combination of lack of sleep, lack of movement, and lack of emotional and physical support/ connection with others who’ve had similar experiences perpetuates the experience of feeling sad, irritable and isolated for a lot of women after they’ve had a baby. First of all, if you’re hearing voices that aren’t really there, seeing things that aren’t really there or feeling as though you’re going to hurt yourself, your baby or someone else, get help immediately by calling 911 or going to your nearest ER. Even if your depression isn’t this extreme, you still need to get help by finding a therapist to talk to or a therapy group with other moms just like you. You’ll have no idea how common post partum depression is until you begin talking to others about your experiences.
Take care of you, so that you can enjoy this new baby of yours!