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26.05.2017 13:12:44

Harmony in a family begins with parents' well-being

The pregnancy and postpartum periods are particularly important times for both parents: they can experience great joy, but also confusion, vulnerability and anxiety. Often, when everyone is expecting them to manifest only happiness at this time, young parents feel too embarrassed to admit that they need additional help in many ways. They might need someone to listen to them with compassion or to provide more specific advice and support to them. These needs and anxieties are normal and should not cause shame. While most of the emphasis shifts to the growing baby, it is important to bear in mind the stress on its caregivers. Moreover, it is necessary to ensure that both mother and father feel confident and calm in the periods before and after childbirth in order for their relationship to be harmonious.

It is normal for mothers and fathers to become very emotional after childbirth. From hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and other adjustments, new parents face many challenges. Moreover, they and others often have unrealistic expectations associated with parenthood. In the first days after childbirth, the vast majority of women undergo mood swings that are difficult to explain. However, if a mother or father experience sadness, anxiety, guilt, or hopelessness for a few weeks after birth, this may indicate postpartum depression.

Under the burden of an idealized image of motherhood, women often refuse to accept the fact that they are experiencing psychological difficulties. Sometimes the woman's husband, her family or friends are the first to notice that something has changed in her or that she is struggling. Although it is difficult to accept, acknowledging the problem is the first step in addressing the issue and preventing its negative effects.

It is important that spouses and other family members treat new parents with compassion. Here are some practical tips to help you address and avoid problems:

  • Learn as much as you can about postpartum depression. Understand the causes, symptoms, and treatments. Discuss the illness with healthcare workers in your community.

  • Do not to take any major decisions during this time. People suffering from depression may not think clearly and experience abnormally bad mood.

  • Be patient. In time, the hormones should balance out and stabilize your loved one’s mood. In the meantime, listen to their concerns.

  • Give support by helping with the newborn and household chores. Take care of yourself and your children.

  • Avoid conflicts. If your spouse says or does something to hurt you or start a quarrel, know that it probably came from stress or pain. Try not to react in a negative way.

  • Encourage your loved ones to talk about feelings. Give them a chance to speak it out by recognizing the difficulties and expressing your support. Motivate them to share their feelings by listening without interrupting or suggesting any ideas or tips. Be positive and encourage new parents that they will recover while validating their feelings and stress. Then propose solutions and provide help.

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