While it is always advised that mothers need to take good care of themselves during and after pregnancy, a new survey has revealed that about one-fourth of mothers ignore their health post-delivery. About 40 per cent of them claimed that they felt anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. The survey was conducted by Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital.
"The fourth trimester can be difficult and overwhelming for women as their bodies go through physical and emotional changes, and this time deserves the same support and attention as the first three trimesters," said Megan Gray, MD, at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital. She added, "Seeing your doctor within a few weeks of delivery and sharing any concerns is critical to getting the care and treatment you need."
The survey also highlighted that women under the age of 45 were more likely to report anxiety or depression after birth (57 per cent) as compared to women above 45 (31 per cent). More than third of women (37 per cent) were embarrassed about what their body went through post-delivery.
The findings also pointed out that nearly two-thirds of women (63%) said they were equally concerned with their health as they were with their baby's health. But 26% of them did not have a good plan for their own health management after delivery, a number that jumps to 37% among 18- to 34-year-olds.
"Just talking through some of the things they're going through can help women realize that they're not alone and that what they're feeling is okay. Asking for help will ultimately make you a better mom," Gray advised. One of the participants Rachael shared that she started feeling underprepared and find it hard to breastfeed, "I thought everything would come more naturally, but it was so much harder than I expected. Women have been raising babies forever, and I felt selfish for feeling like I couldn't handle it."
"Whether it's just reading a book or taking a walk, it's so important to have that time. It was also really helpful to reach out and find other moms who were going through the same thing," she added. Gray said, "There is no perfect mom out there, and taking some of that pressure off yourself will help you be the best mom you can be and help you better experience the many joys of motherhood."
(With inputs from agencies.)