Pregnancy and childbirth are two of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences for women. Although the love and joy felt towards the baby is usually present, no woman is fully prepared for what is to come and postpartum insecurity is almost inevitable.
The feeling of tiredness, loneliness, as well as other changes resulting from pregnancy can trigger a series of feelings in the new mother, and a very common feeling in this phase is postpartum insecurity.
The entire period of motherhood not only increases the feeling of doubt and post-partum insecurity, but also the uncertainty in their abilities.
The Famous Puerperium
The puerperium is the period from the expulsion of the placenta until 6 to 8 weeks after delivery with the body returning to its normal state. It is the period in which the body undergoes a series of changes to return to its pre-pregnancy state.
During the puerperium, the woman’s body undergoes profound physical and emotional changes in a short period of time. At the same time, it slowly recovers from childbirth and the changes that occurred during pregnancy.
It also needs to adapt to the maternal function , that is, to produce milk. All of these changes can have a strong impact on your mood and make you more sensitive and vulnerable.
Together, these characteristics contribute to increase the postpartum insecurity that the mother has in relation to the necessary care to ensure the health of her baby and herself in this initial phase of motherhood.
End of Puerperium
The timing of the end of the puerperium is imprecise, and it is generally accepted that it ends when ovulation and the woman’s reproductive function returns . In women who do not breastfeed, the first ovulation may occur 6 to 8 weeks after delivery.
In those who are breastfeeding , it is practically impossible to say when ovulation will return. It may take up to 6 to 8 months, depending on the frequency of feedings. This requires, among other measures, the adoption of an adequate contraceptive method.
Although the birth of a child is an incomparable event, the challenges are far greater than any excitement. Breastfeeding on demand, sleepless hours, concern for other children, physical and emotional changes are very demanding and undoubtedly cause great postpartum insecurity.
Physical exhaustion, insomnia, decreased libido , anguish, oscillation between moods of intense happiness and enormous sadness, anxiety or postpartum depression are some consequences of this requirement.
Symptoms of Postpartum Depression?
It is important to understand that all the symptoms of postpartum depression also appear in the baby blues, what differs from each other is the amount of time they last.
The baby blues lasts a maximum of 15 days , from then on if the woman still feels insecure, cries a lot, does not feel well, it is important to seek the help of the doctor.
Main indications that something is not going well:
Anger: anger and irritability are primary signs that something is wrong. Postpartum insecurity is common at this stage, however, feeling angry or irritated with your baby, partner, or older children on a level you have never felt before can have serious consequences.
It is possible to want to shout at everyone around you, or even to throw things. Some women feel that they shouldn’t be so angry all the time, but they can’t help it.
Cerebral fog : the brain just doesn’t work well when we have this postpartum insecurity. There is a certain difficulty in remembering some things, in using the right words or in expressing yourself about what you are feeling. It is practically impossible to do multiple tasks, just as we did before.
Scary thoughts: Most women with depression or postpartum anxiety feel that they are not in complete control of their thoughts. I had no idea that our mind could think of something we didn’t want to.
Often these thoughts start with the phrase “what if”, “what if I did this to my baby?” Or, “what if that horrible thing happened?” It’s like having mini nightmares all the time. Intrusive thoughts are a sign of postpartum insecurity, anxiety and OCD, and no, they do not mean that you have become a horrible monster.
Empty: if you think women with depression or postpartum anxiety are full of strong emotions. They are sad and crying all the time, and instead you feel nothing, you can be surprised. Some women say that they feel only emptiness.
They go through this phase doing the things they are supposed to do, but they don’t feel any emotions. As if they were turned on automatically. If you don’t have the same concerns that you used to have and feel out of your body looking at your life from above. He feels that he is no longer part of it, it is worth talking to his doctor. This is not how a new mother should feel.
Insomnia: everyone says to sleep when the baby sleeps. But, what if you can’t? It is quite disturbing for a new mother to feel so exhausted in her routine and unable to sleep.
Sometimes the tiredness is so much that the body, the mind cannot rest and as a result, we suffer from insomnia. If you are unable to sleep when you have the opportunity, this can be a sign of postpartum depression or anxiety.
Physical symptoms: most women think that postpartum depression, anxiety or insecurity can affect only the mind, affect how they feel. But for some, PPD manifests itself with physical symptoms. Headaches, back pain, upset stomach, nausea or even panic attacks.
If you are experiencing pain that does not appear to be caused by the flu, food poisoning or any other illness, it may be symptoms of depression or postpartum anxiety.
As always, the best thing to do is to see your doctor if you are experiencing these or other symptoms. Postpartum insecurity is very common, but feeling bad all the time is not normal. With help, there are effective treatments that can be great on the road to recovery.
See also: Women’s Wear After Childbirth
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.