In detail

Postpartum period, not as pink as we would like

Postpartum period, not as pink as we would like

We try to talk about problems that arise during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, from a psychological point of view, which we often overlook, consider that they are not important or that others are more important, and we even hear acquaintances trying to "encourage" by claiming that they are "dumb" or "nothing" compared to the importance of bringing a child into the world.

Although we are suffering, anxiety, fear, these states are the ones we have no one to talk to, we feel that no one understands us and that only those who have gone through them can listen to us.

These disorders are known since ancient times and everyone agrees that both pregnancy and the mental state of the woman after birth are "separate" from the rest of life.

Anxiety, tears for no reason, worry, sadness, even aggression, indifference, panic ... we know those who have children. Who did not ask when she was pregnant if the baby in the tummy is "whole", has sleeves, 5 fingers, all are well?

"We were at the ultrasound with the soul at the mouth to find out if everything is ok!"

Typically, these conditions are transient and pass in a few days / weeks without leaving a trace. We simply return, the sadness disappears as it appeared, we deal more and more with the baby, we enjoy his presence, his smile, the moments when he sucks.

Other times, it's not quite like that. Then the condition gets worse. We need help. Just a little sleep, some good food, a walk and the encouragement of relatives and friends are no longer enough.

What to do? But first let's see how things are. These disorders are either the accentuation in the post-operative period of a previous pathology, or directly related to the transformations of this period.

We will approach them from 3 different perspectives: biological, psychological and social.

1. The biological dimension it is due to hormonal changes in pregnancy and postpartum period. These hormonal variations (estrogen, progesterone, prolactin) have a significant influence on the symptom of the 3rd day, as it is called baby-blue.

2. The psychological dimension refers to several aspects including: living the motherhood, representing the child, vulnerability of this period and preparing for motherhood.

Living motherhood. It is primarily about the images that the woman has about the pregnancy, about the birth, the desire of the child, the ambivalence towards the pregnancy, the fears related to the pregnancy, her unexpected appearance.

Pregnancy causes an identity crisis, the woman being confronted with a new image of her, accepted or less accepted depending on personal history, relationships with her mother, sexuality and partner.

- Representation of the child. The news that you are pregnant is not immediately accompanied by a "picture" of the child. It appears after a while, after the pregnancy has been accepted, when the fetus has already become reality and is expected to grow and be born.

Then we ask for the first time what it will look like, who it will look like, whether it will be a girl or a boy. The image of this imaginary child is influenced nowadays by the ultrasound images that give us information about sex and bodily integrity.

However, curiosity remains the same regarding the appearance for which we will have to wait for the moment of birth in order to satisfy it.

-Vulnerabilitatea. It is difficult to appreciate because there are very large individual differences between women and the same woman for two different pregnancies. Certainly, there are periods of emotional and relational fragility, which it is good to bear in mind as they can affect the relationship with the newborn.

- Preparation for motherhood. It is a complex psychological work, related to the psycho-affective evolution of the woman, to the identification with her mother, as well as to the wishes and projects of the parental couple.

3. The social dimension it is important that the good performance of pregnancy, birth and postpartum period is ensured by the quality of relationships with the partner, professional stability, relationships with relatives, economic status. To this social aspect is added a cultural one, related to the traditions and customs related to pregnancy, birth and newborn, superstitions, different practices inherited from generation to generation.

Risk factors that favor the emergence of mental problems during this period could be:

-primiparitatea;

- the absence of the partner;

-existence of psychiatric disorders;

- difficult situation from a material or professional point of view;

- marital disputes or disputes;

-mourning;

- medical accidents or traumas.

So we intend to talk on Monday, March 24 about postnatal depression.

Anca Munteanu