When a baby is born, there is a sudden hormonal change in the woman’s body, and in addition to that, the first contact with the “real” baby occurs, which may be different from everything the new mother had idealised until then. That moment can be surrounded by fears, anxiety and insecurities. The new mum can go through what we call “Baby Blues” – a condition in which she is more sensitive, irritated, tired and melancholic. It is an expected period and lasts a few weeks after giving birth.
That melancholy can be very intense, making the mother feel unmotivated and not have the strength to deal with the new routine and challenges. In this case, she may be experiencing postpartum depression (doctor will say).
One of the main causes of it is the imbalance of the reproductive hormones typical of this period. However, there are avoidable factors that increase the risk or the depression itself, among which is SLEEP DEPRIVATION. Women who experience significant sleep deprivation and whose babies have trouble sleeping may be at increased risk of developing postpartum depression or of worsening their condition.
Depression is an incapacitating disorder that can affect up to 25% of mothers. Studies indicate that there is an association between maternal depressive symptoms and the frequency of arousals, the quality of sleep and the amount of time the child sleeps. It is necessary to minimize the negative effects of maternal depression on the development of the child, as well as to provide well-being for the whole family.
There is evidence that depressed mothers find it more difficult to show affection, to understand and to respond appropriately to their baby’s needs, and that they are more inconsistent and ineffective in dealing with their child.
A Holistic Sleep Consultant has the mission to identify where parents most need help and to show that it is possible and important that the family is connected with each other, and that the mother is looked at and cared for as much as the baby. She also needs help, support, love and attention.
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