Postpartum Blues: The Invisible Stage

Having a baby was the best experience I ever had but there is something nobody really prepares you for: Postpartum.

It’s a stage that you don’t really think about and until it hits you, you don’t know how hard it can get.

After your baby is born there are a lot of changes in your body and mind but all of that gets eclipsed by the new baby. It’s not easy to deal with the pressure of having a newborn, especially if you are a first-time mum and it can get incredibly overwhelming.

Everybody gives you advice on everything and that can make you doubt of yourself and your instinct to take care of your little one. Your hormones are changing like crazy from a “pregnant” to “non-pregnant” state and your body physically hurts in so many places! Visitors come and go non stop, you might also be dealing with nursing….and it goes without saying that you’re feeling exhausted because you haven’t slept properly in WEEKS.

Losing Myself

After I had my first baby, I sank into the darkness of Postpartum Depression for 8-9 months, without realising it. It may sound silly, how can you not realise you’re depressed?! But it’s not so easy to spot when you’re taking care of a newborn. It sneaks up on you until one day you realise just how lost you are.

I forgot about myself completely to take care of my son. I began to feel incredibly miserable and angry, I’d wear the same clothes for days on end because I didn’t have time to shower, I’d anxiously eat whenever I got a quick minute…but I didn’t realise it was happening. My family and friends were noticing and asked me if I was ok but my only answer was: “I’m fine”. It was the truth for me because I couldn’t see that I was slowly losing myself.

One day it all got too much so I went to my GP and asked for help. He explained that I may be suffering from postpartum Depression and we started a treatment plan. I finally felt like a cloud had been lifted and I started to be able to see once more, to re-find myself and focus on getting better.

Changes In Your Body and Mind

It’s normal to feel different or to feel insecure after having a baby – everything is new, especially for first time mothers and it can be overwhelming in every way. It’s important to let yourself feel those things, live them and let them go. Allow yourself to experience all the emotions – good and bad – that roll through your body and mind. Sometimes you just want to cry with joy when you look at your baby or even just because you’re tired or overwhelmed. That’s ok. Let it happen, you will feel better and it will pass.
Some women don’t feel a connection with their babies right away: the type of birth, the type of pregnancy, the type of conception are all involved, but stay strong and remember that eventually it will happen with time. Keep in mind that every woman is different, every pregnancy is different, every relationship is different so there is no pattern to follow. It’s normal not to feel extremely happy every minute of every day just because you had a baby, no matter how much you wanted one.
You’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions. Just breathe and trust your instincts – listen to me when I say this – you are able to cope with a newborn. You got this.
Body changes are evident during pregnancy, but they also continue to happen long after your baby is born. If you become your worst enemy criticising yourself, you’ll enter a vicious circle that could lead you to hate your body and blame your baby for it.
So, remember this:
After the baby is born, your tummy will look as if you were 5 months pregnant and you’ll be conscious about the real weight you’ve gained during pregnancy. You won’t look like pre-baby you, not everyone can ‘snap back’ as the media leads us to believe so don’t put pressure on yourself to do so. Embrace your new body for what it is – an incredible vessel that just created a tiny human. Be kind to your body and nurture it back to health, that diet can wait, trust me.

Be Your Best Friend 

Two months ago I gave birth to my second child, my beautiful daughter and this time I didn’t sink in the darkness. I carried my body and face creams to the hospital because I knew it would make me feel better. I take a shower every day, no matter how little time I think I have. I do yoga  just to be by myself and help my body recover and I take care of both of my children with so much love and attention despite giving some of that to myself too.

But most importantly I feel overwhelmed – I ask for help.

Your baby is your number one priority, that’s natural, but you must also take care of yourself. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t be the best mum.

Be kind to yourself, be your best friend, you’ve just made a little person!

Bloom From The Darkness

 

Author Bio: Maria Gomez

Maria is an English philologist and mum of two living in Madrid. She loves walking, reading, wrapping presents, new gadgets and a nice candle or three!
A slow life lover and Pueblito Bueno Fan.
Instagra: @maryah_de_la_oh

 

 

1 Comment

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