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I am a working professional who attended office until nine months into pregnancy. Despite me and my spouse being medically fit, we conceived after 5 years of trying and had been to various gynaecologists during this time. After enjoying a healthy pregnancy I somehow ran into a placental abruption scenario and delivered via c-section.
The stress of giving birth in an emergency situation and how I reached hospital was etched in my mind. I was in trauma. After the baby’s birth, the ever-running cycle of feeding, crying, and lack of sleep began. In a few weeks, I understood my baby has colic.
By now the nationwide lockdown was imposed, and this added more mental stress than I had. I didn’t know if it was safe to visit any hospital. How would I get my baby vaccinated, what if there is an emergency, who will care for my child if I get the disease? These questions started multiplying in my mind, and the daily news channels added to my woes.
Everything made me so sick and sleepless that I decided to get help. I took an online appointment with my gynaecologist and her suggestions indicated just one thing; that I need to help myself.
That day I promised myself to take care of my baby while doing everything I can to distress myself. These are a few things I tried
- Delegating baby duties:- Since I was hardly sleeping and her crying echoed in my ears all day, I started handing over the baby after the feed to my spouse for 1.5 to 2 hours around 11 p.m. Then I would just shut the door of my room and sleep, consistently convincing myself that my partner is capable enough to keep my baby and will wake me up in case of a problem. Self-conviction, when there are negative thoughts, is most important.
- Doing household chores:- I stopped pushing myself to sleep during the day and started cooking and cleaning. Since I am someone who likes serving, it gave me satisfaction and made me feel normal.
- Yoga and breathing:- Whenever I got time, I went to my balcony, sat on a chair and started breathing and looking around. Early morning stretches and simple yogasana reduced my body pain.
- Keeping a deaf ear:- With so much advice and constant questions of why baby is crying, I was getting affected and worried. Loved ones sometimes make things sound abnormal in their concern for the newborn. It is important to talk to peers and try solutions, rather than getting affected by questioning.
- Giving time to hobbies:- Even an hour’s time every few days can help keep stress away. I like writing and listening to music, which I resumed.
- Looking at the baby as a human being:-In motherly emotions, I stopped understanding that my baby is also a human of this world and will face similar problems. I am presently the primary doctor/caregiver and unless I am sane, I cannot give good care. When she constantly cried and I ran out of options and could not manage, I simply put her on the bed for a few minutes and breathed or drink a glass of water to think of other possible ways to calm her down.
- Getting socially active:-In these times when the need for social distancing has locked us in our homes and the baby has consumed me in her life, a ten-minute conversation with a friend/sister/mother, makes me feel better.
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