“Oge I want to discuss something with you.” Christie a bosom friend said to me. “what’s that” I asked. “I feel so sad, overwhelmed, I feel like an emotional wreck right now, I still feel sore and so guilty like I would have tried other options instead of a C-Section, I want to be left alone, I actually feel like running away from everything”. Those where the words of a New Mom, Christie, who was at that instant breastfeeding her bundle of joy. Are you a New mom reading this? Do you feel the same way Christie did? If your answer is Yes then you are not alone, you should know how to deal with Baby Blues or postpartum depression when it comes, because you are most likely to experience it – you just had a major abdominal surgery.
I felt the same way Christie did when I had my third child, I had a rather traumatic child birth, I had a spinal headache after my C-section, while I watched other mothers up and about, I just couldn’t, because I’ll have to hold my head to walk, my depressed mood started at the hospital and continued after discharge.
It’s actually normal to have a mixed feeling- Joy and sadness, worry, anxiety, feeling tearful at any instant – it’s ok if you feel that way, Hormonal changes play a role, According to research published on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)-Research, a drop in hormones after birth can lead to depression. Baby Blues clears up in few days to a week but if it lingers for two or more weeks then you are having post-partum depression. On maternal mental health World Health Organization (WHO) says that 13 percent of women suffer Depression after birth worldwide. Post-Partum depression is real you just haven’t identified yours to be one. Now let me help you identify Baby Blues or postpartum depression if you’ve just had a C-section.
How to identify Baby Blues or postpartum Depression after a C-section
Going through a C-Section is not a walk in the park, the experience has its own emotions and that is already a risk factor for Baby Blues or Postpartum depression. The pain, healing process, sleepless nights can make Baby Blues worse and may lead to postpartum depression. I’ll say Baby Blues is a milder form of postpartum depression. Some New moms don’t actually understand what they are going through, while some moms don’t experience it, some others do and yet don’t identify it as what it is, they just don’t understand what’s happening to them.
Are you feeling Baby Blues? Go through this checklist to be sure.
• You feel like crying all the time
• You feel sad, angry, irritable, empty, overwhelmed, depressed
• Disconnect from your loved ones especially your spouse for no reason
• Symptoms clears up few days to a week after birth
Have your feelings taken a better part of you? Go through this list
• You feel like crying all the time
• You feel sad, guilt, irritable, angry, overwhelmed, empty
• Anxiety, worry, sleeplessness, disconnect from baby and spouse
• Feel life’s not fair to you
• Feel suicidal
• Symptoms last more than two weeks
Baby Blues can be managed on your own and would easily ease away but you’ll need professional help if you are having postpartum depression, it’s really nothing to be embarrassed about, if you need help get one. These coping strategies below will help you get a grip of yourself in the shortest time possible, and bring you back to bond with your family and the new born
How to Deal with Baby Blues and Postpartum Depression after a C-section: Coping strategies
The feeling of depression after a C-section can happen to any new mom and for so many reasons. Women manage their emotions differently, the fact you just had a C-section may never really get at you but for some, it does, depending on the circumstance surrounding the choice for a C-section.
Well, if you have found yourself battling with baby blues or postpartum depression after your C-section try these coping strategies out:
- Be informed some other moms do feel the same way, so you are not alone.
- Talk to someone, just the way Christie did to me, half her problem was solved by just opening up and she felt better talking with me. A problem shared is a problem half solved they say. The feeling of relief is so real when you talk to someone. When I had mine I talked to my mom about it, thank God she understood and encouraged me. Find a friend or a close relative to talk to.
- Learn to ask for Help when you need it, For the early weeks after a C-section you need to take life easy in other to heal very well so you’ll need all the help you can get, don’t be weary of asking for help. In Nigeria your mother or mother in-law comes after birth to help out and its usually a great relief, if you don’t have any relative to come stay with you, you could hire a help or your spouse can help for a while till you are strong enough, it’s really not a time to burden yourself with chores.
- Make a conscious effort to sleep and sleep deeply, whenever baby sleeps you sleep – my mom would always say to me, and that can be very helpful. Try to catch as much sleep as you can when you have the opportunity.
- Always tell yourself you are the best mother your baby can ever have and trust yourself on that, no matter how you feel at the moment, the feelings will fade away.
- Talk to your partner about your feelings so he’ll know, he may be feeling frustrated already trying hard to make you feel better.
- Watch your baby while breastfeeding, looking at your bundle of joy all the time while he feeds may reignite your bond.
- Read Books and learn from others, remember you are not alone in this journey. Some mothers have penned down their experience and how they coped, you could find relief in reading some of these books. You could try “The Mother to Mother postpartum depression support book” on amazon
- Join support groups online or in your vicinity, learning from other peoples’ experience and getting support from them will help you recover fast.
- Start exercise as soon as you are healed and up to it, start gently first then progress.
- Eat well, try to consciously eat healthy diets.
- Visit the doctor if your symptom doesn’t seem to ease up after few weeks and after trying these coping strategies.
In Conclusion after a week I actually felt better, I never felt disconnected from my baby all through my period of depression, I most likely experienced baby blues. Christies symptoms were deeper and I encouraged her to seek medical help. I have talked about how to deal with baby blues and postpartum depression after a C-section, if you read every word in this article you should be able to identify if you feel baby blues or postpartum depression and then try out my coping strategies, seek medical help if you need to.
What other strategy worked for you if you experienced the above, you can share by leaving a comment after all we are here to support one another.
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