Maternal Wellbeing: Baby Blues?

Something wrong?
Luckily, most mothers are happy after childbirth, albeit a bit sore. Depending upon the type of birth it may take 3 to 8 weeks for a woman to heal from the effects of giving birth. Losing all the weight may be a separate issue – remember, you may not want to lose muscle mass but just extra flab you developed while making sure your baby had a safe place to stay – inside you.
Unfortunately, many women have short term emotional problems for the first few days or weeks after giving birth. Why might that be? Most of the reasons are clear.
1) Hormones. Your hormones begin changing dramatically yet again after you give birth even after you just rode the hormonal ride of the pregnancy.
2) Major change. Either you had a bad birthing experience – emergency medical care like a c-section, or the baby being born dead, or discovering a handicap in the baby or just a long and arduous labor, or else you had a relatively good experience of giving birth with reasonably long labor, decent pain management, a smooth birthing process in the manner of your choice and just some soreness afterwards. Regardless of how it went – you have completed your pregnancy by giving birth which is in itself a major event.
In my own case, aside from unusual aspects of the whole matter I really felt the baby in the womb had been a combination of having grown another portion of myself and then I gave birth to that and he was a baby boy. I also had felt so connected to the baby that it was a bit of a shock. I was also delighted to be lighter and to be able to be in a different room. The greatest joy for me in terms of my own body rather than about the rest of it, was that my son would no longer stick his heels into a well bruised spot between the top of my womb and my rib cage which he had been doing for about 3 months before he was born. He looked so small once born, compared to how large he had been feeling in the womb. Anyway, giving birth is a big change in your life.
3) Adjusting. Now that the baby has been born there are suddenly feedings and nappies and hopefully you have a good partner and now your life as a couple has become a threesome of sorts. If you do not have a partner then you are also dealing with that.
Baby Blues or Post Partum Depression?
You may exhibit signs that something is wrong or you may feel moody, or anxious or lousy. You may have trouble sleeping due to your body having changed again and proceeding into ‘after birth’ on all levels. If this goes on for a few days after you give birth get plenty of hugs, rest and fresh water, but don’t worry.
Nowadays, doctors describe a significant difference between the baby blues and what they call post partum depression. Anybody who comes down with depression needs help. 60% of the emotional or mental illness known as depression in general is environmentally controllable – people can cure it with kindness, distraction from pain, addressing real problems a person may be having. Talk therapy and medication may be necessary or plenty of bed rest-or more exercise depending on the true nature of the problem. Human cruelty and indifference can actually cause people to suffer from the mental illness of depression so this is not an issue that anyone can honestly shirk responsibility for.
Post partum depression is similar to the baby blues in that it may involve increased: anxiety, sleeping problems, sadness, disappointment, feeling empty, mood swings.
If you web search ‘get help depression’ you can access some more detailed information about getting the care that you need.
Post partum depression often does not even start until months after the baby is born. In severe cases it interferes with the woman’s ability to care for the baby, but obviously not the same way returning to a job a few weeks or months after having a baby might. Some women are desperate to work again and other mothers and babies are absolutely heart broken if separated so the money can work for pay. Women may well have all kinds of moods relating to raising a baby and work and family life even when there is nothing wrong and she is not suffering from post partum depression.
One way to ‘be sure’ that a woman is suffering from post partum depression is that if there is really no discernable cause for being miserable. If that is the case, it may make sense to get a chiropractic check up because many spinal alignment problems cause anxiety in the sufferer and are invisible to the naked eye or are overlooked as somehow not possibly being the real problem. If there are no known problems and a chiropractor checks out then get help to get to a doctor to get medical treatment.
Warnings & Help Signs
If you or someone you know has depression, please do what you can to help. The most dangerous truths about psychological depression are that 1) depressed people often reject or find it very hard to get help, especially if instead of supportive caring friends they think only of how their competitors at work or rivals in love might abuse their suffering against them. In general, severely depressed people may be too far gone to get help. They need help getting help as seriously as people who have been physically seriously injured do, but for totally different reasons. So, if someone you love seems depressed – help the person get to help. In many cases it is not nearly as urgent as a physical health emergency such at heart attacks or broken legs, but it is actually a serious problem.
The other worst danger about the emotional illness of depression is that most of the depressed people who commit suicide actually kill themselves when they are starting to get better. They have started experiencing a return to being more active about their lives. Because of that, depressed people often need the support of loving friends or relatives or medical professionals while healing to actually prevent them from going suicidal during their recovery.
Talk therapy, medication and not being left out too much and then treating any underlying life issues all help allieviate depression including the post partum blues.
As it happens, many spiritual teachers say that becoming less selfish and self centred can prevent and cure some kinds of depression. However, that is not meant as a means of belittling the real needs of a person who has depression. Addressing maturity issues and spiritual issues should only be done when the person is well enough to not be in any suicide risk and is either steadily on medication or no longer needing medication.
Get Help Depression
Is one great way to search for relevant online information. The good news is: the post partum depression can be healed. The majority of people who suffer from depression are not chronic depressives, and will not need to spend decades on medication. Whether you or a loved one is or has ever been depressed please know that there is help and you can be healed. You just need some help. Everyone needs help – that’s why humans live in societies instead of in isolation. There is nothing wrong with that, but getting the right help at the right time for the right issue matters a lot.

Culture Shock: 2 years after

Re-entry

Two years ago this coming November marks 2 years living back in the USA after 6 years in Germany.   Those of you who recall, may have read a post or two about ‘return culture shock’.  Maybe you wonder: was there any ‘re-entry culture shock and if so, how long did it last’?

 

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Yes

The short answer is that yes there was culture shock upon returning to the USA for more than one reason.  One reason was that, much as I enjoyed how much everyone spoke English and I could finally go to my normal church, the relative lack of good public transit was not good.  To my own astonishment, I actually missed people speaking German and in fact, I still do.  This is even though, over there, I was only finally getting to be fluent, and still had to fight a cultural bias: a tendency to be dismissive of German language information as irrelevant because I’m an American or native speaker of English.  I was quite happy with myself as that tendency declined while living in Germany, but felt mildly stunned by how bad about that I still was after 5 years of living in Germany.

There are a few other matters, such as the amount of brick.  It is the norm in Stedorf, along with bales of hay.

Part of what I dealt with was being right near where I grew up.  Syracuse University Orangemen Football and Basketball….whereas in Ireland, the Orangemen means the Protestants of the Northern Counties.

There were familial issues which seemed to exacerbate a sense of confusion or dismay about it all.  My father was never comfortable with my husband being a German or about my son being both German and American rather than only American.  He wasn’t horrible about it, and sort of tried to treat that as acceptable but never quite did: this is a man whom I not sure ever wants to really see his daughter ‘married off’.  I mean, for some reason, I either can’t tell how he really feels about it or else I can but the truth makes us uneasy.   Some days he seems to feel I should be married off,  but other times he seemed delighted if some man of his baby girl’s turned out to just be a toy boy or temp rather than anyone who really permanently took her away from him.

Meanwhile, my mother and sister were just sort of nonplussed by my presence.  I think they may have tried to enjoy it, but felt bad knowing it was induced more by hardship than by pure love…and sort of trying to ameliorate the problem and to try being kind while making me feel guilty about having turned up and not having left after 3 days….Or even, guilty for seeming to want love and attention from relatives I haven’t spent much time around for 20 years or so.  I had hoped that our having time together would be cause for celebration and that we would update our relationships, get on well etc…but instead what happened caused me to nearly regret having even turned up and I nearly went back to Germany rather than staying in the country.

Terrain: in reality, CNY is loaded with hills.  They are not giant mountains or anything of the sort, but both Indianapolis and the area around Bremen, are flat lands.  I spent a total of 16 years in flat lands having been raised in this hilly terrain.  It felt wonderful to be back and yet strange to deal with actual hills and other traits of the land I come from.

No

Of course not!

Not True

In reality, in 1999 I returned to living in the USA after 5 years of living in Southern England, North Greater London, and Slough, Berkshire mostly.  That time, I moved to Indianapolis, where I had never lived before in my life.  It was most definitely back to living in my native country!  at the same time, it was somewhere new.  Even so,  locals told me that it took a year for me to “lose my accent” by which they meant what I and the English perceived as my “watered down American accent”.

Again, when I reached the point of having lived in the North side of Indianapolis for 5 years I did have weird emotions: it really was as long as I’d lived in England.  My second year back I had started saying “Dude” again, which was a major shift.

I’ve been back from living in a village around Bremen, Germany for more than 18 months now.  I still miss needing and using German a lot more.  I still miss fantastic public transportation.  There are other qualities of the nation’s culture that I find that I do honestly miss.  Some are the public support system and educational system.  Some are much more subtle – I’m not even always sure what it is that I’m missing.  There was something different about the air quality there, which I never understood.

At the same time, I’m really finding myself easily ‘moved’ in a happy way about various organizations that are around here – I mean stuff like: the schools I went to growing up actually are around here.  The neighborhoods I lived in growing up really are right in my current local area.

Here and there are people I knew, and I fairly frequently come across others who are or have been involved with some organization I was also part of: a a dojo, a school, a Y, or a church, or even a bar or party place.

It is relaxing to have such free use of my native language again and to have it be in common use.  Of course, I always knew that people speak any language because that’s what the people around there spoke like when they were there.  I realized that in Germany as much as I did here, but that simple lesson has somehow been deeply reinforced.

Different / Changed

I think maybe the truth is that I feel changed, neither in a good or a bad way, but just different.  My perspective and experience were definitely effected.  My attitude towards foreign residents is nothing like it was 25 years ago.  I was never cruel nor malicious but now I’m downright sympathetic and realize that being foreign can be a struggle but also gives a spirit of adventure to every day life.

I certainly wouldn’t say that I won’t live in a different nation again: I would love to live in London, England more: especially if the circumstances would be nice…and I would even brave Germany more, but would prefer to try a city and in whichever nation I would prefer to have a good job or to have plenty of money even if I don’t have a job.