YOU ARE A NEW MUM, NOW WHAT ? Tips for surviving the first days after childbirth (Part 3) – Your Mental Health

Maternal Mental Health
You are not alone. Hormonal changes after childbirth can affect your mood.

Childbirth is followed by a rapid drop in pregnancy hormones. These changes have documented effects on the human brain. There’s also the extra layer of sleep deprivation which has known effects on hormone levels and mood. To these, add an unexpected outcome such as an emergency Caesarean section or a traumatic birth experience, and you have a recipe for the emotions of a new mum to take a hit. 80 % of Mothers often feel out of sorts emotionally within the first few weeks after they have had their babies this is called postpartum blues.

Another 10-15 percent with certain risk factors go on to develop postpartum depression or anxiety while a smaller population (5%) develop postpartum psychosis.

These mood disorders are real. There are women here in Nigeria suffering in silence because they are too scared to voice the dark thoughts of deep sadness, guilt, hopelessness, and fear going through their minds at a time when they are expected by their families and society to be overjoyed and do not want to be associated with the stigma of having mental health challenges.

It is important that once recognized you share these feelings with someone you trust and seek help from a professional (clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist).

Accept support from friends and family with basic chores where available and do not compromise on your sleep.

Untreated perinatal mood disorders in new mums affect the immediate and long term cognitive and behavioral development of their children as well as degenerate to attempts of the mother to harm herself or her baby.

The areas addressed in this article are not exhaustive. It is my hope, however that they empower one new mother with a few tools to deal with a few of the valid challenges faced in her new role after childbirth. ⠀

Mental Well Being after birth

Care for Your Caesarian Section Scar

  • The edges of your incision separating⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • Oozing fluids, blood or pus from your incision
  • Swelling around the edges of your incision ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  • A fever of 38degress centigrade or imore⠀⠀⠀