“For women to remain empowered as they take on the joys and challenges of motherhood ideologies of mothering and femininity must be moderated. They serve to isolate and undermine women as they set unreasonable expectations of women and make fathers contribution an optional extra.”
Recovery from Postnatal Depression: Endurance, sedition and sorting the family baggage – Dr Sue Cowie, International Marcè Society Conference 2016.
Women who experience postpartum depression are greater risk to experience this again in a second pregnancy. Dr Cowie has studied how taking in the context of women’s lives and womens’ experiences and expectations and how they prepare for second birth. Four general circumstances appeared to make motherhood more difficult: traumatic or difficult birth, women’s physical health problems, child’s health and feeding problems and lack of support. Second time experience recovery themes included endurance test e.g. ‘such is life;, it just slowly got better ‘finding the baby more enjoyable’, other to mother experiences in knowing what a child needs, and seditious talk with friends to help feel normal when talking about the depression and postnatal stressors of the new baby. Having a baby the second time after experiencing postpartum depression resulted in the mother having a less idealised view of the baby, more experienced and knowledgeable, and a transformational experience .
Recovering from postpartum mood disorders? Who ya gonna call? We need to start talking more about the challenges of motherhood and talk more about the context of how things get better.