The effect of birth on the mother
Some women feel ghastly throughout their pregnancy but most find that they bloom’ after the first few months.
By the last few weeks, however, the combined effects of general discomfort, heartburn, tiredness and the inability to get a good night’s sleep, make the prospect of giving birth and returning to normal highly attractive.
Unfortunately getting back in shape mentally as well as physically after the birth is not as easy as you might have imagined. Firstly, you will be tired. Tired beyond anything you have known before. Once you have had the baby you will get even less sleep than while you were pregnant. Your chores will increase and you are going to suffer from nervous tension worrying about whether you are doing things right. Your judgement may be affected and you could feel that you cannot think straight.
Most new mothers feel like this for a while, and there is a very thin line between the expected natural effects of lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance and normal tension in the face of the new stresses placed on you and more serious depression. If you feel that you will never be well again, or that you cannot cope and may harm your baby, you may be verging on pueperal psychosis and you must get help. Do not hesitate to contact your doctor or your nearest Crisis Clinic or Life Line. (See Chapter 11 for the numbers.)