No Need to “Go It Alone” Post Baby0
It is ironic that one of the events that most connects a woman with another human being—becoming a mother—can also be an isolating experience for many. The changes in an average woman’s life upon becoming pregnant and then having a baby are some of the biggest most women experience. Most do not experience this period of change and transition without a struggle. These struggles can be minor like sore nipples when breast feeding, to major such as giving birth to a child with a disability, during a time of emotional or financial strain, or serious postpartum depression. These struggles, big and small, are the reason it is important to not allow oneself to become isolated during the period following childbirth, to offer support to women you know who may have recently had a baby, and to learn to recognize the signs of postpartum depression.
Public awareness about the strains of new motherhood and particularly about postpartum depression has improved in recent years and there are now many resources for women in need of guidance following the birth of a child. Beyond support for postpartum, finding support through others acquainted with this important stage is invaluable. The friendships I formed following the births of my daughters are some of my most valued. Strong bonds are formed when we experience something new with others. Like going off to school and finding a few other freshman friends, or meeting your fellow tent mates when going to camp for the first time, some new experiences are opportunities. Having a baby is definitely one of these opportunities and the support, advice and fresh perspective from others will help with the inevitable struggles every new mother faces, minor or major.
Find parenting classes at a local community college, support groups such as P.E.P. (Postpartum Education for Parents), organize a group of friends at a similar stage of life, or seek guidance from an experienced mother. There is no need to “go it alone.” There are no extra points given for struggling with challenges in a vacuum, and you might find that the support, the compassion, and the bonds formed with others during this challenging time will help make becoming a mother even more meaningful.
I found this postpartum depression screening quiz on Parents.com.
[AUTHOR: Hilary Doubleday]