The encounter that changes everything

To prepare for the arrival of a child, there are those who leaf through parenting books, others who know the Maternelles shows by heart, those who protect themselves in their own bubble, and those who read up on the subject in small doses. Whatever happens, motherhood arrives without warning. In one fell swoop, or almost, you become a parent. When you meet your baby for the first time. Life as you knew it is gone. In its place comes a great unknown, joyful and unexpected. For better or for worse.

Postpartum and baby blues: what’s the difference?

It’s important to distinguish between the baby blues, which are a normal, temporary emotional reaction to childbirth, and post-partum depression, which is a more serious medical condition.

While the baby blues are generally characterized by feelings of sadness, anxiety and irritability that usually disappear on their own after a few weeks following the birth, post-partum depression persists for longer and may require professional treatment.

If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, or interfere with daily functioning, it’s important to consult your midwife or doctor.

How to identify post-partum depression?

Post-partum depression is a medical condition that can affect new mothers shortly after giving birth. It can occur in the first few weeks after birth, but can also manifest itself up to a year after the baby’s birth.

Symptoms can vary in severity, from mild, transient sadness to more intense emotional distress. It can lead to reduced self-esteem, difficulties in bonding with the baby, sleep and appetite disturbances, as well as negative or suicidal thoughts in the most severe cases.

These effects can also have an impact on relationships with partners.

What are the solutions to post-partum depression?

Consult a healthcare professional

Post-partum depression is an illness that cannot be cured alone. Free your speech, free your conscience and don’t feel guilty. Don’t be afraid to admit you’re unhappy and need help. Make an appointment with one of the following: your midwife, your GP, a psychologist, or a perinatal child psychiatry consultation at the hospital.

Listen to your inner voice

The one that whispers to you that something is wrong. It’s hard to hear, between the sleepless nights and the constant responsibilities that come with motherhood. But it’s crucial to pay attention to these internal signals. Sometimes, simply acknowledging that you need support can be the first step towards healing.

Surround yourself

Being alone with a newborn can be exhausting and isolating, and the lack of social contact can aggravate feelings of depression. They say it takes a village to raise a child. A kind, caring army is needed to look after mothers. Talk to your partner, other moms, friends and family. Doubt, tolerate your mistakes that aren’t mistakes.

Get away from Instagram…

…or more precisely, the accounts that give you the bum’s rush. Polished photos, immaculate house, coiffed and primped mother, sleeping baby. Can you believe it? Don’t be fooled by appearances. Instagram is also known as the dream life or, more bluntly, “the poisoned, guilt-ridden life”. Instead, turn to useful accounts like Anna Roy’s, Anaïs Doal’s beautiful stories, Marie Robert’s reflections or Renée Greu’s tribulations.

Hello letting go

Finding your place as a mother seems like a game of chess. As Lisa Gachet sums it up, “You have to know how to let go, accept that things are imperfect, that daily victories may be tomorrow’s failures, and that it doesn’t matter”. You’re not a multi-armed goddess capable of doing everything at once. Your brain is in full bloom (it’s scientifically proven), so take the time to watch it blossom.

The Charlie Crane team

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