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Emotional highs and lows after the birth

Emotional highs and lows after the birth


Most new mothers will experience a range of emotional 'highs' and 'lows', in the days and weeks following the birth of their baby. These will not only stem from the normal hormonal changes, but also the sheer physical, emotional and spiritual experience of giving birth, her feelings about being a mother (or mothering another child) and the level of love and support she has around her. Emotions will be very different, for each individual woman and if this is your second or subsequent baby, you may experience similar feelings to your previous birth/s, or they could be completely different.

coping_with_baby.jpg

Emotions can be fleeting, or ongoing. They can periodically surface and regress, through various phases during the postnatal recovery period. This 'roller coaster' of emotions may feel similar to what you experienced at times during your pregnancy. However, some women will find that they stay on a fairly even keel, possibly 'waiting' for emotions that do not seem to come. Your feelings may be intertwined with caring for your baby, feeding them and/or how your baby is behaving. You may feel confident with caring for, and feeding your baby, or confused and overwhelmed if you thought your mothering was going to be easier than it is. Perhaps the responsibility of caring for your new baby feels quite daunting.

Fathers can also experience emotional 'highs' and 'lows' after the birth. For some it is the sheer excitement of having witnessed their baby being born, possibly with feelings of euphoria and amazement, or perhaps extreme relief that your partner and the baby are both O.K. This can often be mixed with feeling physically exhausted, and possibly gradually having a realisation of actually being a 'father' and/or having a new sense of responsibility.

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