Just as your body goes through a tremendous adjustment after the birth of a baby, so does your emotional state. There is the impact of a huge role change on your lifestyle. Suddenly you are given a new mom gift, twenty-four hours a day responsibilities to a dependent helpless baby. The role is a new one. It is tiring and a bit puzzling at times. Combine that with the fact you are already tired and undergoing sudden changes in hormonal production, and you have a situation of emotional stress. To top it all off, there is the tremendous commitment you feel for your tiny baby. Intense emotions, sometimes highs, and sometimes lows, are to be expected at this time. You may find that you cry easily, both from happiness and from sadness and frustration.
Your time is not your own now. Your baby’s needs often do not come at convenient times. It is not possible to make plans and expect to stick to them. The women who cope best at this time are those that can accept the realities of the early postpartum period. They place high priority on caring for the baby and getting rest. They also are supported in this by their husbands and other loved ones. Getting help and avoiding heavy demands on yourself are two of the most important baby gifts you can give your baby (and yourself.)
The postpartum period represents a gradual return to a normal lifestyle. Your body recovers from childbirth and adjusts to the new demands of parenthood, including interrupted sleep, feeding schedules, and a constant awareness of the needs of the baby. Thus begins a new phase in the growth and development in all family members.