The decision to have a child is a significant life choice. A new baby is a great joy, but comes with a huge amount of work and responsibility, which can fall on the mother as an enormous psychological burden. Childbirth, breastfeeding, hormonal swings, fatigue, sleep deprivation, all of these are not just a physical burden, but a psychological one, as well. This is compounded by worries, doubts, and anxiety on top of the challenges of the new life situation.
Will I be able to do all of this? Am I a good enough mother? Will my relationship with my partner be like it was before the baby? Can I be a good woman and a good mother at the same time? How can I balance my different roles? Is it possible to work when you have a baby?
This period is full of happiness, but at the same time is full of intense emotions. It can be a great help to get support in psychological regeneration and answers to questions about the role as mother from a psychologist. Even though this period is also the time when many people – perhaps too many - suddenly are asking about your well-being. (Sometimes perfect strangers ask personal or intimate questions that we may not want to discuss with them.) It still is not a widespread practice to discuss our thoughts with a professional. But it would help to draw out of us what it is that we would like. It can help to motivate us to find our own answers to our questions and to have self-confidence when facing challenges.
We also need to talk about the fact that postpartum depression – also known as „baby blues” does exist, and it can be very severe and dangerous. It’s very important to notice quickly if the mother is listless, sad, overly exhausted or tired, as this can slip into depression. Her environment plays a large role, because the mother herself rarely notices if she has crossed a threshold in how she feels. She must be convinced as soon as possible to turn to a psychologist, because she will need professional help quickly.