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Welcome to The Maris Practice Blog. Here you will find musings, reflections and information about best practice in alternative therapies. We hope you find it useful and interesting.

The Day 3 Cry – post baby emotions

Ethan-baby

Most women will experience symptoms three to five days after the birth, such as mood swings, teariness, feeling overwhelmed and anxiety. Often called the 'baby blues' It is thought the symptoms are caused by the rapidly changing hormone levels after the birth and the labour experience. For many it is the day you find yourself crying uncontrollably about ANYTHING! Feeling like you are in a long dark tunnel of endless baby care with no way out and no-one who understands or can help.

These symptoms often go away after a few days without needing any more treatment than a few cups of tea, some wise words from other mothers and hopefully a few hours of unbroken naps.

However, these symptoms may not dissipate a few days. In this situation, it is very important to let your health professional know as it may be a sign of developing depression or anxiety. It can be hard to know if you are experiencing symptoms of depression. It is easy to take it for granted that having a new baby is hard work and feeling a bit low and overwhelmed is all part of being a new parent. Talking to someone about it is a good first step; however much you may think all other mothers are coping just fine, if you raise the topic you will find that most are happy to talk about how difficult they found the initial days and weeks. Often mothers of older children do not want to raise the topic with new mothers and 'scare' them.

Many women suffer unnecessarily and for a long time with mental illness because they feel a sense of shame, guilt and even embarrassment because they have "allowed themselves to be depressed" at a time when they are supposed be joyful. Mental illnesses are no different to having the flu;

  • you can't control whether you get it,
  • treatment is available and will help you feel better,
  • you need to look after yourself in order that you do not make yourself worse.

There are 3 main types of perinatal mental illness;

Postnatal depression
Postnatal depression (PND) is a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners. Postnatal depression can start at any time during the first year after giving birth.

Symptoms include those listed for antenatal depression, as well as difficulty bonding with your baby and getting no enjoyment from him/her, thinking you can't look after the baby, having frightening thoughts (possibly about hurting the baby) and thinking about suicide or self-harm.

If symptoms last more than two weeks, or start later than the first few weeks after birth, it may be PND. Without help, symptoms can last for years, and there's lots that can be done to support you.

Postnatal anxiety
Mothers who've had difficult deliveries have a higher risk of postnatal anxiety, which can develop gradually over time, and they're more likely to suffer from PND.

Symptoms include frequently feeling nervous or anxious, worrying, finding it difficult to relax or sleep, struggling to bond with the baby, restlessness, irritability, constantly checking on the baby, thinking bad things will happen to him/her, palpitations, rapid breathing, dizziness, excessive sweating, muscle tension and tingling or pain.

Postpartum psychosis
This is a severe but rare mental illness, leading to extreme difficulty in responding emotionally to a new-born baby. It may occur at the same time as PND, and around half of mothers with postpartum psychosis already have a history of mental illness. The condition often starts in the first one to four weeks after the birth.

Symptoms include thoughts of harming the baby, delusions, hallucinations, a lack of emotional response, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, irritability, confusion, suicidal thoughts and the belief that the baby would be better off without you.

Lower back pain during pregnancy
Feeling overwhelmed?