Postpartum blues and how to handle it

This one is about the mother.

You know the popular parable ‘that when death is close your whole life flashes in front of your eyes.’ But when a brand new life presents itself… nothing flashes in front of your eyes. Your mind goes in limbo, the wee child in your hands is all you can see with lazer-sharp concentration. You don’t blink your eyes because you don’t even want to miss a nano-second of that experience.

I felt like a huge washing machine with every single emotion inside of me being tossed, turned and thrown around in that barrel. But as a father this emotional uprising is nothing compared to what a mother will go through after she has delivered the baby. Postpartum Blues OR Postpartum Depression is very real and during this delicate time the mother will need all your support that she can get.

During the pregnancy a woman produces a lot of hormones to help her through a healthy and sustainable pregnancy. But following delivery these hormones drop rapidly and can bring about serious emotional upheaval – mood swinging, weepiness, a sense of overwhelming and everything in the general region of why-is-this-happening-to-me feeling.

Here are some of the postpartum blues experiences that I have encountered myself:

  1. Mood swings – Be ready for this, it can happen anytime and without warning. The mother can be calm and composed now but everything can change just in a matter of seconds and there are many reasons for this – baby crying, not eating on time, not getting enough sleep and including the father’s inexplicable stupidity like being stuck on the phone and not listening to a word of what she is saying
  2. Guilt – This is very common and it can take a major toll on the mother. She feels as if she is not doing enough for the child. She will constantly keep tabs on the baby’s weight, height and general progress and no matter the results won’t satisfy her. She will nag you day and night if the baby is growing – always respond in a positive and confident manner, or else you’ll have two crying humans to deal with the entire night.
  3. Anger – The mother is bound to get angry about anything related to her child;
    1. Guests touching the baby excessively.
    2. Baby crying more than usual.
    3. Baby not sleeping the whole day.
    4. Baby not pooping and peeing the whole day.
    5. Baby not smiling
    6. ‘Baby looking at me “funny”’
    7. Baby regurgitating

The list is endless, again as the father you can’t be a fart and not do anything. You have to be supportive at all time

  1. Sleeping – The mother will be very tired and will need adequate sleep. If she is constantly nurturing and feeding the child she is bound to get depressed, she needs some me time throughout the day and it is best utilized by sleeping
  2. Lethargy – The mother sometimes feels that she unable to function and even regular and simple tasks will seem like a burden. Help her whenever you are around, and share the load
  3. Weepiness – All of the above and much more can lead to weepiness, a lot of it. Be prepared, don’t say anything idiotic like “can you pipe down, I’m trying to watch TV?” you will get stabbed… with the remote.

These are the few things that I have experienced but there is a myriad of feelings that a mother can go through and no matter what, you have to be there for her. Yes! you can seek professional help but if it is not serious then I suggest be a good husband as you are a father and everything will be fine.

I have seen post-pregnancy women completely lose it. An incident occurred when we went for our baby’s first vaccination dose. A couple came in with their newborn and as required by any hospital they had to fill a form with the baby’s particulars. Our turn came and we promptly went inside. A few minutes later suddenly we heard a loud wail coming from outside, it was definitely not a child’s cry, so it worried us even more.

The nurses ran outside to check what the commotion was all about. We could still here the crying, it was definitely a woman and it sounded as if she was complaining. The doctor continued with injecting our child. Some moments later the nurses came back and narrated what had happened.

The woman had filled the form and submitted it to the receptionist. But the husband requested for the form back and a new one as well; he then went on to change the baby’s name without consulting his wife!

This completely, for good reason, ticked off the wife and a public showdown ensued. The husband looked hapless and obviously embarrassed.

The doctor, who had heard what had happened, was surprised as well. She then told us that the next three months are very delicate for the mother and she will need all the support possible.

This incident was clearly a prime example of how NOT to support your wife during these testing times.

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