Feelings after having a baby
| the blues |
postnatal depression | psychosis
the days and weeks after giving birth mothers may feel
emotional highs and lows. The highs are great, and the
lows can be made easier if you know what to expect.
This is a time when things can feel very strange.
mothers will certainly be tired! New babies have no
respect for a mother's sleeping needs, so the best advice
is to rest when you can.
A new mother now has responsibility for a tiny human
life which is totally and utterly dependent on them.
This can be quite a challenge with any baby. It can
also be quite frightening. And, of course, a new mother's
life and relationships at home are completely changed,
sometimes particularly the relationship with the baby's
father. Sometimes a father may feel differently about
the mother, after baby is born, and even act in an unkind
Rresearch shows that the blues is experienced by at
least half of all mothers. It is very common to feel
low or tearful a few days after birth, for no reason
that you can understand. Especially around day three
when a new mother's milk comes through. Your breasts
can feel very painful, and you may feel as if you have
influenza or a cold. But it is not serious, and soon
goes away by itself!
is a particularly damaging form of severe sadness that
approximately one in ten mothers get in the year after
delivery. No-one knows exactly what postnatal depression
is - but no-one can deny there is a serious problem
that affects these mothers. It seems to be equally common
everywhere in the world. It can start from about six
weeks after delivery and can last several months.This
problem is much more than tearfulness. It can cause
great suffering for months, maybe more.
It can cause difficulties in eating or sleeping, very
bad tiredness and a loss of interest in making love.
Mothers can feel terrible things like: "I can't cope"
and "I'm an inadequate mother". It always causes serious
problems for the family. It can make mothers feel worthless,
damage marriages, prevent bonding with the baby and
affect the child's development. It can even make a mothers
hate her baby.
More information on postnatal
centuries people have known about a rare, serious illness
of the mind that some new mothers get. For example,
in Africa, there is a traditional illness called "Amakiro",
where the mother is so unhappy she may want to eat her
own baby. Science also recognises this illness and calls
it "psychosis". The number of cases is the same everywhere
in the world and has remained the same over many years:
about one mother in a thousand. With proper medical
help, mothers affected by psychosis can make a full
with a Baby
Feeding a Baby
How to Breastfeed
How to Bottlefeed
Feelings after having
Families with New