Postpartum is no Picnic
In early August, Childbirth Connection, a leading national not-for-profit organization released the findings from "New Mothers Speak Out, National Survey Results Highlight Women's Postpartum Experiences."
One finding that leapt out from the report was that 44% of all mothers reported that eitheir physical and/or emotional health impairment had interfered with the care of their babies.
I hate to say this, but the results didn't surprise me. The time after women give birth, known as the postpartum period is no picnic for most moms. There are enormous physical and emotional upheavals in addition to the responsibilities of child care and the added burden that many women must return to work. It's a real testimony to women's resilience that more women don't have more severe postpartum depression.
The researchers found that even 6 months or more after giving birth, over 40% of moms were still feeling stressed and about 1/4 were much less interested in sex. There was also continued sleep deprivation after 6 months, which no doubt contributed to the findings that motherhood is not easy, especially with babies under a year.
In my experience it takes about 6 months for the baby to become more settled as Penelope Leach so eloquently writes about in Your Baby from Birth to Five.
This study confirms what I've seen in my practice, that many moms find that it takes about a year, before they feel comfortable balancing and juggling all the demands of their new life.
You can learn more at www.childbirthconnection.org/newmothersspeakout/