Oct 19, 2012

Postnatal baby blues

Have you just had a baby and are feeling tired, out of sorts and don't know what is wrong? It is not unusual to feel like that after having a baby. Everyone is different and some women feel a little down and others feel exuberance and joy. You have just gone through the lamaaz classes, built up an excitement, had the baby and now it is all over. Do not despair. Your feelings of anxiety may persist for a few days but will slowly dissipate and give you your life back. After all you have been through a huge experience, and not only physically, but emotionally.

Do not stress
If you are breastfeeding your baby and feel you do not have enough milk and worry about it,or you have enough breast milk but your nipples are sore; these are all things which lead to feeling helpless and depressed. It is normal to feel a little blue; it is not normal to become so depressed that you neglect the baby. At that point you have to seek help and follow the instructions of a doctor. Do not become angry and tell her to stop crying and pull herself together.

Be patient
Women who have just given birth are faced with many challenges; their hormones are out of whack, their emotions fluctuate, they cry easily and think they will never cope. If she wants to cry, let her do so. Encourage her to talk about how she feels. Postnatal depression is dark and unpleasant and the illness affects about 10% of mothers who have recently given birth. The onset of depression usually starts when the mother has been discharged from the medical facility. 

Get the right help
What you can do for your friend: encourage her to talk and express her feelings about the baby. If her feelings persist, suggest she speak to a district nurse or a friend. Do not rush for the bottle of tranquilizers but work through her fears by listening and talking about it. Most times it is just plain panic and the fear disappears when the person feels safe. Safe can mean different things for different people. As mothers we have all been there. When someone suffers from depression, it is hard to be around them. Help your friend get the right diagnosis.


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