“The sudden manner in which women transform in appearance is the same way
childbirth although slightly accounted for, marvels the eyes.” X pj
Following childbirth, most women become diffident of the stains resulting from pregnancy on their physical structure. The birth of a baby can trigger an untidy heap of powerful and suppressed emotions, from great enthusiasm and jubilation to panic and uncertainty the very next minute. It could also result to severe long-lasting despondency such as “Postpartum Depression”, which may continue after childbirth.
Postpartum depression can be described as a mental condition which conveys feelings of unhappiness and dejection that snatches appetite, steals self-esteem, diminish confident levels and ribbon-wraps up a person with insecurities after birthing. In Nigeria, more than 1.5million cases are reported per year on postpartum depression, according to birth statistics 2016. Those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later on in life.
The way she looks, especially when not delightful and sophisticated is what she is described as and were she is perceived to be in her life. Although looks says it all but at the same time very deceiving, she should be encouraged more often. Her less charming and unflattering appearance due to childbirth should be considered as a symbol of great courage and victory.
“The disfiguring of the inward and outward form after child-birth are spoils which brings sadness to the ones who fall victims to postpartum psychosis, but boost unending smiles to those who acknowledge them as gold medals.” X pj
Since childbirth itself is a long way off from the normal, an extraordinary phenomenon, I think the alarming alterations to a woman’s body structure and mind is as a result of the unbelievable experience and power that is childbirth. And unluckily for many mothers, the body cannot withstand as much as it used to accommodate before giving birth. Most people associate women who have added weight over a period of time as either unhealthy or sad. They make certain assumptions which attract a lack of vibrancy and beauty compared to a younger-self of whom is being criticised. Drespite the small talk, it could be true and mostly correct that age, a good friend is but an enemy of one who does everything to keep the physical body intact and metabolism of fatty acids constantly and actively burning. When you are unhealthy, the body reveals the state of your internal organs and when you are saddened, the body also discloses your state of mind.
“The human body is a powerful statement. It is a mirror which reflects your identity. Therefore, it is only normal for a new mother to feel some type of despair when she cannot identify herself or sees someone new whenever she looks into the mirror.” X pj
The skin problems, loose of hair and weight gain cannot seem to unravel her mind. Most times she becomes lost in this new body, longing for the days she was without the little one. This could spark intense irritability, difficulty bonding with the baby and hatred for others becomes the menu for many days to come. Unknowingly to her, the child is maltreated and the baby’s father witnesses a new growing temper and reluctance as a result of her lack of confidence and self-respect.
When that facial expression of “What happened to her crown!”, or questions such as, “Did she leave it at the hospital?” or “Could it be that it can no longer fit her enlarged head? arises, who will do her the honour to answer these terrifying questions. I can guarantee the new mum to an extent had no clue. But, why then do most women have to suffer this unexpected turn around of their physical appearance. My take on this topic, with particular concern to mothers who feel the need to feel ashamed, is to own the flaws and imperfections pregnancy brings with pride. One must try not to be too fixated with the worse or scrutinising the mirror in search of the ugly, instead program the mind to conceive the unattractive as an honour.
“A soldier never goes to war without a riffle and a good serviceman who fought tirelessly on the battle ground always comes back with a scare that makes aware a story. A pleasing story of combat and victory!” X pj
So my dear, are you a survivor with satisfying results of your achievements within birthing stories?. If you are, then take a proud long walk with those stubborn laps, even if you have tried vigorously to lose the baby fat. Fleshy parts of the body are one of the additions that comes with motherhood, just as laughter, happiness and wholesomeness. Anything that brings such unmeasurable happiness must also come with some consequences. That is the world we live in!.
Symptoms of postpartum depression which includes mood swings, crying spells, loss of appetite, anxiety, irritability and insomnia will not make any difference in your appearance. It will only take a toll on your ability to care for yourself and your little one, and it will worsen any condition of being grateful for each and every day.
“Own and wear your stretch marks, blemishes, weight and ageing skin with pride, as long as it is not a health-risk. There are so many other struggles the world has already placed on your path for you to add-on more unnecessary issues to the pile of variability.” X pj
However not a character flaw or weakness, if you are already in a constant low mood, take a deep breath for a minute to refocus your mind on the things that are much more important. Then seek counselling, hormone therapy or antidepressants as treatments.