The thing about postpartum that no one prepares you for or even tells you about is not the shock, the sleepless nights, the restless days, the pain, the stitches, or the baby blue or depression It is time that people understand how much a short negative conversation can contribute to one’s understanding of a situation.
Postpartum depression is caused by many factors of course but one factor is probably blamed on the negativity pregnant women receive before giving birth. Almost all women who were and are pregnant, especially in their third trimester and towards the end of that blessed journey hear almost the same comments and advice – in most cultures- such as, sleep as much as you can, once the baby is here, you won’t be able to sleep or even rest or shower! When a pregnant woman says she is tired or in pain, she is entitled to hear oh, this is nothing compared to what you’ll feel once the baby is here. Even when it comes to buying things preparing for a new mom’s postpartum journey, getting new clothes, toiletries, and things to take care of herself, people tell her, she won’t have time to take a shower not even look at herself in the mirror! All these little comments here and there charge you with big disappointment, less excitement, and obviously tire you even before the baby is here!
What people say affects our expectations and can partly participate in the way we perceive things. Even after suffering from PPD, people shame the mother for all the things she is going through and keep the negativity flow!
What people don’t tell you about is how bitter but sweet taking care of a baby is. Waking up with your baby is not easy but putting them to sleep again is such an achievement you will definitely be proud of! The sleepless nights can be mentally exhausting and sometimes could lead to a meltdown, but the morning comes and your baby starts staring or smiling at you and just like that, it is all forgotten! They never talk about the first unintentional smile your baby makes nor do they ever talk about the comfort your baby feels when you hold them and only you. They never talk enough about the happiness you can get from a look in their eyes, giving them a bath and learning how to soothe them time after time. Seeing your little one grow and knowing that you made this is priceless. The love you have for your baby is unconditional and that is true. It isn’t easy to bond with your baby or to feel that love and that isn’t related to the birthing experience if you get less attached to your baby the more painful you feel!
These feelings are normal and anyone can feel them so never blame yourself or judge your postpartum feelings and struggle. It is ok to feel exhausted. It is ok to admit that you are tired. It is normal to learn along the way or to choose something other than what people go for. It is ok to make mistakes during your motherhood journey, otherwise, you won’t be able to accept your child’s mistakes and turn them into rights. Everyone’s experience is different and things like bad birthing experience, breastfeeding or formula, co-sleeping or not, carrying your baby or nursing to sleep do not define you or make you less of a mother.
Becoming a mother is never easy; it is a challenge but a very rewarding challenge. Start by yourself, whenever you see a new mommy getting ready to welcome her baby, talk the good things out; point out all the indescribable moments and feelings. Be a comfort to them, be honest and true and one day they might thank you!