“Haiyo baby, don't cry don't cry, I'll carry you. Your mummy's milk not enough, right? She don't know how to take care la! ", shared by a friend of mine, whom received a comment from a family member after she had delivered her second baby. Sadly, I know that she's not alone. Many mothers have to deal with such remarks, and this doesn't help when we are trying to cope the best we can for our babies and for ourselves.
Instead, we have to protect new moms! Alike a mosquito patch that wards off pesky mosquitoes, we are the “patch’ that reminds awareness , as well as protect mommies from the nasty bites of insensitive remarks and the deadly “postpartum depression’ bug!
Any individual can be fearful and anxious about changes or new environment. Kids feel that way about school, and men feel fear and anxiety from work life, family responsibilities that leads to depression (even men get depression from being a stay-at-home dad. Yes, you hear that right!). If any individual can be very much overwhelmed by new tasks/changes/projects, much more a new mom who faces mind-boggling task juggling while recovering physically from giving birth? THAT is a heck load.
In the joy of welcoming a new member to the family, the mother disappears into the shadows of her role. She tends to forget that she is integral to the entire process from conception to birth and neglect oneself. Result? POSTNATAL DEPLETION.
Postnatal Depletion? How does that happen?
Once the baby is born, huge amounts of oxytocin in both the mother and the baby, literally creates this love fest they call the “baby bubble.” This needs to be encouraged and respected, and caregivers and fathers need to be aware of the importance of this time post-birth, when the bond between mother and baby is established. While the mom was pregnant, part of the job of the placenta is to reprogram the mother. As though a “software upgrade,” her brain is being modified to acquire skills to become a mother- intuitively aware of her child’s needs (cold/ hungry/ crying). This hyper vigilance is obviously vital for the survival of the child but if she is unsupported, it leads to sleep problems, self doubt, insecurity, and feelings of unworthiness. Moreover, there is a perceived notion that the mother has to be “everything,” and as result many mothers suffer in silence and are not receiving education, information, or support. This type of depletion is directly linked to POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION and effects - energy levels, supply of breastmilk, ability to care for your newborn, patience, thought-pattern, decision-making and general ability to function on a daily basis.
You know how important a compassionate and supportive gesture is, and how it got you going! It is time for an awakening, to protect a mom from a society that can be insensitive and curt. And how better it is to start from the very core- family.
Allow a mom to feel like a woman in tune with herself and her baby, (than an exhausted person), to slow down and embrace changes, to be present in the moment, to snuggle with her newborn, to have the time that she will never get back.
No need to run helter-skelter! With the help of some mommies and daddies, we've compiled a list that'll help dads along this journey!
Daddies- every woman is different, so don't assume it will be the same for your partner- ask her what will be helpful to her.
Mommies- be open to share of how you'll like/prefer the daddies to help around.
Remember, this partnership works best with love and communication! Expectations and assumptions may only end in resentment.
'BUT I'M OUT WORKING ALL DAY!' Now now, calm down. Every parent is working. While one goes out during the day, the other who stays at home with the baby is also working a day job. Looking after a baby 24/7 can be crazy demanding and it can leave mommy feeling messed up and isolated. When both parents are home, taking care of the baby is a shared job. Moreover, during the early days of sleep deprivation and intensive caring, your help is BIG. If mommy is well rested and healthy, she'll be in the better frame of health and mind to take better of your baby. A WIN-WIN! So take heart!
EENIE-MEENIE-MY-NEE-MO! IM A GREAT DADDY, LET ME SHOW!
Take your pick! Here's some ideas to choose from, it ain't a list or a demand. Key point to remember: don't underestimate her need for support.
And, lads, your partner’s need for support does not magically end at the full moon celebration or four months after. Keep this list in hand if you need to ( secret or not), ask, refer or repeat!
Mommies, if you’ll like to, you can be specific with the help you need and have your man refer to the checklist above that you've chosen. SPEAK YOUR MIND.
Peeps, be flexible, tweak along the way and as long as the both of you are open with communication, your relationship and parenthood just keeps getting better!
All 3 of us sisters will be sharing stories from our different perspectives. The good, the bad and the ugly, we're telling it as it is.