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Are you experiencing the Baby Blues?

by on 30/09/2013 1683

Most moms in this society are conditioned to think that having a baby is a blessing and a joy. Indeed it is, there is no doubt about that, however, there are some mothers out there that experience a sadness right after the baby comes. In our Asian society, not many new mothers would come out and admit this feeling for fear of being chastise by other family members or looked upon as ungrateful. Since the baby is born all healthy, what else could they ask for, what reason is there for them to be sad?

However, what these new moms are feeling are very valid and real. Sometimes the “sadness” they feel could be due to being tired, feeling overwhelmed by the constant needs of the baby, and basically a sense of disconnectedness with the outside world. It could also be due to the changes in their bodies such as feeling flabby and not so attractive.

Postnatal or postpartum depression can happen right after the delivery of the child or even several months down the road. Feeling down, makes it a little difficult for the new mother to bond with the child and this can lead to feelings of frustration, inadequacy and even guilt.

If you are a new mother always remember this is not your fault, most new mothers feel that way to some degree. If you look at it from a different angle, why would you not feel weepy sometimes, you are tired from the two-hour feedings, especially those moms who nurse their newborns. As soon as the baby is done nursing, you burp them, and change their diaper, and pat them to sleep then when you are just about to drop off to sleep, they wake up for another round of feeding.

Society often assumes most women are born with some special “gene” that automatically makes them have motherly instincts. Not all women have that instinct, many are just as clueless and often they feel uncertain of their skills as mothers. They are also afraid that if they make a mistake they might injure the baby and if their baby keeps crying and they have no idea how to make them stop they might feel like they are bad mothers.

A new mother might wonder, “Why don’t I know what my baby wants?” These mothers get frustrated and start doubting themselves. Perhaps they are not ready to be parents…. some of them may feel hate for themselves and their baby. Yes as awful as this sounds, sometimes it does happen. But often the feeling does not last, it is just a temporary feeling due to being anxious and uncertain.

Some suggestions that might help if you feel this way :-

Talk to your partner, perhaps talking it over with your partner can help put some of your fears to rest. At least you don’t feel so alone. If your partner can’t really understand what you are going through perhaps you can confide in your mother or your sister or even your close friend.

Talking helps and sometimes through confiding in others, we might find that perhaps we are not alone in this feeling after all.

There are also things you can do to make yourself feel better.
 

  • Find time for yourself. Even if it is only a half hour a day, take some time to pamper yourself, watch TV, read a book, listen to music, do some yoga, meditation, go for a short walk. You will be amazed to discover that even 30 minutes of “me” time can help you feel better.
     
  • LET GO!! Yes, let go of the idea of being supermom, super housewife. If the house is not spotless or the laundry is not done, or the toilet is a little messy, do not exert yourself and try to do all of it.
     
  • Maintain proper nutrition and get as much rest as you can.
     
  • Exercise, yes even if it is just dancing to music on the radio for 15 minutes, it will help you feel better.

 

Lastly, if this feeling persist and you find that no matter what you do, you can’t shake it off, do consult your physician or seek some help from a counselor. 


About the Author

Kopi Soh has a MA in Psychology, Specializing in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling. Her area of specialty is in working with children, adolescents, couples and families. She is also an artist and has published two self-help best sellers distributed by MPH, available in all bookstores throughout Malaysia.

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