Perinatal Depression & Anxiety Week 2016
I feel ashamed, I shouldn’t feel like this ! My baby is healthy, so I should be happy and I’m NOT !
Perinatal depression, I have encountered this a few times during my work as a doula. A mom, whose birth did not go according to plan, is left with a healthy baby and should feel happy, but she does not. Instead, she feels “not herself” and heavy. Unable to hear her child’s cry, every sound is too much, having no energy at all, experiencing fear and/or panic attacks, sleepless nights, negative thoughts, feeling fragile, not wanting to get out of bed, insecure, missing the ability to feel love towards their babies and not understanding what is happening to them.
Hormones play an important role next to an overall good birth experience. Normally during birth mom’s own oxytocin levels, as well as her endorphin and prolactin levels are enormously high. Allowing mom to open during birth, feeling relaxed and secure to ease the birth of her baby.
So what’s happening with these hormones when birth takes a different path or when women feel scared, unsafe or “not being in control”. These low levels compromise opening and having an easy birth. Next to that they compromise one of the most important bonding moments, right after birth.
Mom’s have felt disappointed in themselves and afraid their friends and family would judge them. So they keep quiet about these emotions and feelings. A common feeling is feeling detached from themselves and their babies. The risk of loneliness kicks in because many did not know whom to turn to or felt to ashamed.
Fortunately for “my mom’s” they did know who to turn to. Knowing they would be understood instead of judged and this has given them the opportunity to open up and receive the help needed. I’ve been able to help them coming to peace with their birth experiences and restored the bond with their babies. This is a combination of my skills as a doula and a psycho energetic therapist, specified in birth and after birth.
A healthy baby is important, but it’s not everything.
In case you recognize yourself in this article, please call out for help !