I received this comment from Mrs. Latha Vidyaranya in response to the post titled “Happy Mother’s Day“.
Since I know quite a few of my friends are on the family way, thought of sharing the comment as an independent post.
As a Psychological Counsellor, I would like to mention a psychological trauma that many new mothers find themselves in. It is called “Postpartum depression”. Let me explain.
A woman, as soon as she becomes pregnant, is flooded with congratulatory messages from all her near and dear ones. And everybody glorifies pregnancy and the motherhood that is to follow. The pregnant woman also starts taking pride in the fact that she is going to bring out a new life on to this earth and all her creative instincts would get fulfilled!
After nine months of looking forward to the bundle of joy, the D-day comes and the bundle of joy arrives on the scene to the celebration of one and all. But sometimes, the whole experience is so overwhelming, both emotionally and also physically, that some new mothers sometimes fall into a depression! It is the surging hormones and sometimes the imbalance of the chemicals in the brain (neurotransmitters) caused by the stressful situation (remember that any life changing event – positive or negative, can cause stress to humans) that lead a new mother into this kind of an unwelcome position. The stress increases all the more because she is unable to experience the euphoria that all new mothers are expected to feel! She does not feel like holding the child, she may refuse to breast feed the baby, she may even think of harming the self or the baby and the whole behaviour of the new mother becomes a big puzzle to the family members. They are at a loss to understand this…
Usually the gynecs who attend to the new mother and the pediatricians who check up the health of the new born are all aware of this psychological disturbance and they can very well handle such cases. She would require some anti depressants and most of all the understanding and support of her near and dear ones, specially the new father. He too requires utmost support as the whole event has turned into an anti climax! But the positive news is that she can come out of the depression very soon if suitable treatment in the form of medicine and counseling is given to her.
Sorry folks, if I have shocked all of you. But I thought this is a nice forum to bring in some awareness about certain psychological aspects as and when a connected article arises in the blog.
(Latha Vidyaranya is a Special Educator and Counsellor and has founded ‘Empower Counselling Centre’ in Malleswaram, Bangalore.)