Bringing a new life into this world is an exhilarating experience. But it also has its own set of challenges. Being a new mom is never easy. Of course, if you have adequate help with household tasks, then you can focus on getting some sleep. However, there are certain challenges that a new mother may find difficult to overcome and may even need the help of medical professionals:
- Postnatal depression (PND)
Research shows that there is a greater risk of the development of psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and postpartum. Postnatal depression (PND) is found to be the most common disorder emerging during this time.
In India, several studies have shown that risk factors for postnatal depression are birth of a female child, low income, unavailable physical help, an adversarial relationship with the mother-in-law, low birth weight and low maternal intelligence.
The signs and symptoms of postnatal depression are:
- Loss of interest in baby, husband, or other family members
- Always thinking negative and hostile thoughts
- Intense worry about the health of the baby
- Constantly sad
- Unwilling to meet family or friends
- Always exhausted
Unfortunately, there is barely any awareness in our country about PND. Women do not express their feelings due to the fear of being downplayed. Worse still, unsupportive family members may even ridicule the new mother and her erratic behavior. In such cases, online counselling can be a boon. Certified emotional wellness experts can guide women to the path of recovery.
- Sleep deprivation
Sleep deprivation is not just a problem for mothers of newborns. Even months after birth, infants do not sleep through the night, resulting in fragmented sleep for the mother. An average adult needs between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. A new mother may be in bed for eight hours, but she may be having to wake up several times to feed her baby.
Chronic sleep deprivation causes reduced alertness, decreased performance, impaired brain functions and memory, increased sleepiness during the day, and irritability. Needless to say, all this has an adverse impact on the quality of your life and the quality of your relationships with your husband and family.
- Pain and bleeding
After delivery, women bleed for as long as 6 weeks. While it is quite normal, it is definitely most uncomfortable. Add to that pain from an episiotomy or natural vaginal tearing, or a C-section incision, and your misery is complete. Imagine taking care of a newborn on next to zero sleep while your own body is in the process of healing!
- Emotional turmoil
Our hormones are all over the place, even after delivery. They are what causes the uncontrollable bouts of crying, the unexplained sadness or the constant irritability. When family members and friends act insensitively to your suffering, they do not realize how much they’re hurting your emotional wellness.
Breastfeeding is not as simple as taking your baby to your breast. It requires learning on the part of the baby as well as the mother. For many women, breastfeeding is a struggle during the initial days. The good news is that it does get better–with time and practice.