Post-partum blues is the series of emotions and mental battles that women go through when newly delivered. A lot of women go through various emotional struggles during and after their pregnancy.
During pregnancy, women have a lot of hormones rushing through them. After delivery, a sudden drop in the hormone levels leads to emotional fluctuations. Post-partum depression refers to the myriad of negative emotions experienced by some newly delivered women.
Emotions could come in terms of a deep-seated unexplained anger at everything and everyone. Some mothers get quite cold and indifferent towards their partners and the children.
In Nigeria, this sort of coldness or indifference especially towards one’s child is often misconstrued by loved ones. The most common symptoms of Post-partum depression include
- Lack of sleep or too much sleep
- Struggle with focus and memory lapses
- Lack of interest in everything and everyone
- Mood swings
- Loss of appetite
- A feeling of inadequacy
Untreated post-partum depression can sometimes lead to a permanent depression. And in extreme cases, some mothers end up taking their own lives for fear of how they feel towards their children. There have been cases of women taking the children’s lives.
Most cases are seen as criminal, or even spiritual, and unfortunately, these women don’t get proper care.
The Truth About Mommy Brain
As terrible as post-partum depression could be, its not the only post-natal mental health issue. The Mommy Brain Syndrome is another issue that plagues new mothers.
Mommy brain is associated with the state of forgetfulness and sometimes outright dumbness that seems to affect some mothers. This situation can go on for up to a year or even longer. An astute individual becoming forgetful and unable to reason things as fast as before, could be quite scary.
The lack of sleep that comes with caring for a squalling newborn also contributes to the slowed cognitive ability.
‘Mommy brain’ contributes to the sadness and anger of post-partum depression. This is worse especially when family and loved ones capitalize on mistakes to deride the woman. The situation becomes even direr when those who should be supportive are unable to lend the necessary care.
It has been clinically proven that the brain goes through a series of changes when a woman has a child.
The brain grows larger within months of delivering a child. There are certain aspects of the brain that get enlarged and more fluid passes through them. These changes are to prepare the mother to care for the new life in her care.
The parts of the brain responsible for smells and sounds get stimulated and will attune the mother to her child, even in a crowd.
The mother’s brain changes to accommodate new priorities of her child and no longer focuses on less important things. She develops more interest in forming habits to help care for the child and love them.
Dealing with Post-partum Blues
Depression is a serious medical issue, whether Post-partum or not and needs expert medical solutions. a strong support system and lots of care are necessary to treat depression.
Depression gets better with time and it is usually gone within a year of the child’s birth.
The changes that come with birth and the brain growth don’t really get reverted, but the forgetfulness often passes with time or reduces.