Childbirth is one of the most stressful events in a woman's life. This enormous burden on the body and the psyche often leads to upsets - both on the psychological and on the physical level.
The first days and weeks often decide whether there is a positive processing of the experience or whether there is an increase in symptoms.
As a doula, I can provide emotional first aid, especially at the beginning of the puerperium, and contribute to a positive processing of the experience.
WHAT SYMPTOMS MAY APPEAR AFTER THE BIRTH?
Affective lability, increased sensitivity, rapid change between euphoria and crying, sleep disorders, depressed mood, joylessness, loss of appetite, lack of drive, irritability, restlessness, overactivity, fear, feelings of shame and guilt, tiredness, amnesia, lack of interest, pronounced emotional lability, obsessive-compulsive thoughts and concentration disorders , up to suicidal thoughts, self-harm or suicidal acts.
WHAT DOES EMOTIONAL FIRST AID MEAN AND WHY DOES IT HELP?
For a positive processing of stressful situations, some factors such as a secure attachment and relationship, mindfulness, compassion and understanding play a central role. Man always needs another person to heal. It is not possible for him alone. That's why it's so essential. These qualities, such as the expression of compassion, address important areas of the limbic system in the brain and help to address the possibly "frozen" areas of the brain and provide sensitive relief.
Likewise, “counseling” (psychoeducation, etc.) after the birth already reduces the likelihood of a post-traumatic stress disorder occurring. It is important to normalize and depathologize the experience in the puerperium. Many women suffer from the pressure of the happiness and joy they have longed for throughout their pregnancy. If this is not the case, they quickly get the impression that they have failed themselves and "not functioned properly". But if you get a logical explanation for your symptoms - e.g. that the brain reacts this way in most cases after exposure - your feelings and your symptoms get a framework with which you can grapple. The course of the birth can also be examined in more detail and the points viewed as critical can be clarified in a technically neutral manner. Many clinics offer appointments for debriefing, and you can also consult the postpartum midwife for medical advice.
The symptoms can also increase if the event is not discussed, if no one says that it is true or if no one confirms how it was experienced by the person concerned (e.g. "Everything is fine again." Or " You and the child are healthy, that's the most important thing "). As a result, the memory remains "frozen" and the person stuck in their stressful or traumatic situation. In this case, trauma-related disorders or adjustment disorders can be expected.
The brain's “recovery time” after a stressful or traumatic event is 4-8 weeks. The brain is busy with realigning all perceptions that could not be "correctly" assigned within the event - it forms a highly complex memory network. In extreme cases, there are memory lapses. Our nervous system protects us from " too much " and "too fast" and "too intense". It is particularly important to offer orientation in the here and now and to create the "safest possible environment", also emotionally.
This period of 4-8 weeks is most likely to help ensure that the processing proceeds positively and the symptoms subside or disappear. If the symptoms increase, over time there will be coping strategies and more complex disorders.
IS WEEKLY BED DEPRESSION EQUAL TO POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER?
No it is not.
Other criteria must be met for postpartum depression. The symptoms differ in intensity and in their course. Changes in the body (the imbalance in the metabolism and / or in the neurotransmitter balance) play an important role in depression. A stress reaction takes place on the psychological level and can be explained by natural processes in the body, in the brain and in the nervous system.
An organic assessment of the neurotransmitter balance often provides even more precise information about whether it is depression or a stress disorder .
To confirm a diagnosis of "postpartum depression" it is therefore advisable to examine the neuroendocrinological relationship between the level of estrogen and seronotin in the blood.
The hypothyroidism should also be checked as part of a comprehensive examination.
WHAT DOES MY ACCOMPANATION LOOK LIKE?
I focus entirely on the needs of the mother and the child. My support is reflected in my understanding - for what I experienced during the birth and for the woman's wish to arrive in the role of mother and for the love between the child and his mother to no longer be clouded by the upsets.
It is especially important to let everything happen in tiny tiny steps. The mother's strength in childbed is still building up and should not be overstrained. The needs of women in the here and now are essential and important to recovery.
If it matters to mom, we can approach your birthing story together and decipher it together. In the conversation I dedicate myself to the experience of women and how this relates to the overall situation. Often, the behavior of other people can be illuminated differently by changing perspectives. This makes it possible to look at the story from a different point of view and to come to an inner conclusion. If necessary, I convey an understanding of why and how a state in the psyche and in the body arises after an experienced stress.
If the mother's psychological condition requires professional clarification, I will refer you to the appropriate offices in the area and accompany you there if necessary. I work closely with some of the departments. Accompaniment that takes place parallel to therapy is possible.
After my examination as a naturopath for psychotherapy, I also offer therapy for some of the above-mentioned upsets.