Guilty feelings: throughout the months of pregnancy, women,
along with their partners have fantasized about what life would be like
after the birth of a child. Now that the child is here, so is reality.
Many women experience profound guilt after the birth because their
expectations about what motherhood was going to be like were not met.
Unfortunately, many women who experience guilt blame themselves for
these feelings, whereas they are really suffering from a treatable
problem called postpartum depression (PPD). If
you have questions about whether or not you are experiencing “just
guilt” as compared to guilt that is symptomatic postpartum depression,
you can take our postpartum depression quiz (PDQ)
and/or schedule an appointment with one of our therapists, who
specializes in treating women with postpartum depression (Schedule
reasons why women feel guilty:
Many women feel guilty that they
aren’t ‘in love’ with their child. In fact, they feel rather
disappointed, or even cheated by their bundle of joy. Their bundle
of joy is more like a lump that eats, cries and poops, not exactly
what one would call responsive.
Having a child to many women feels
anti-climatic. After months of anticipation, they are now sleep
deprived and upset with their body that still looks at least 6
After the birth of a child, some
women experience a profound shift in attention from them to their
baby, resulting feelings of jealousy towards the infant. The
experience of feeling jealousy can make a new mom who loves her
child feel guilty. It’s hard going from being the center of
attention to being number two.
Relationship adjustments: The
relationship is no longer about you and your partner, now there is a
third person who is demanding attention 24 / 7. Parenthood is
exhausting, and does not leave much time for partners to have sexual
or emotionally intimate time together.
Many women, even though they know
they are supposed to be overjoyed at being a mother may not like
their new roles of continually feeding, changing diapers and holding
an infant, thus causing them to feel guilt.
Tips on how to manage the guilt:
Give yourself permission to cry.
Ask your friends and family to take
care of you the way you are caring for your infant.
Encourage your partner to focus his
energy on you.
Give yourself permission to use a
babysitter and treat yourself to having some personal time.
Get out of the house, do something
If you live
in the Philadelphia area, and wish to
enroll in a support group or schedule a therapy session please contact The
Center For Growth, Inc. 233 South 6th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106 and speak with Alex
(215) 570 -8614.
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