Psychological Adaptation of the Postpartum Period
After giving birth, the mothers experience physical and physiological changes that also result in some changes in psychological condition. The mother normally experiences tremendous stimulation of excitement, undergoes exploration and assimilation of his baby. Further, they are under pressure to be able to absorb the necessary learning.
They had to know and care for their baby even feel an extraordinary responsibility to become a “mother”. Not surprisingly, mothers experience a slight change in behavior and occasionally feel troubled. This period is a vulnerable and starting period for guidance and learning.
Reva Rubin divides this period into 3 parts, including:
- Period of “Taking In”
This period occurs 1 to 2 days after giving birth. The new mothers are generally passive, their attention is focused on their body’s worries. They may repeat their experience of giving birth again. Sleep without interference is very important to reduce health problems due to lack of rest. Nutritional enhancement is needed to accelerate wound recovery and healing soon, as well as preparation for optimal lactation.
In providing care, midwives must facilitate actively the psychological needs of the mother. At this stage, the midwife can be a good listener when the mother tells her experience. Also, give mental support or appreciation for the results of the mother’s struggle in successfully giving birth to her child. Midwives must be able to create a comfortable atmosphere for mothers so that mothers can freely and casually communicate their problems. Although in this case, there is often an error in the implementation of care carried out by patients on themselves and their babies only because of less intensive of communication.
- Period of “Taking Hold”
This period lasts for two to four day postpartum. Mothers pay attention to their ability to become successful parents and increase responsibility for babies. Mothers also concentrate on controlling their body functions, defecating, urinating, strength and endurance. In this period the mother strives to master the skills of baby care, such as carrying, bathing, changing diapers, and so on.
At this time, they are usually a little sensitive and feel not good at doing these things. Midwives must be responsive to the possibility of changes. This stage is the right time to guide how to care for the baby, but the guidance technique must always be considered, not to offend or make the mother’s feeling uncomfortable.
- “Letting Go” Period
This period is very influential on the time managing and attention given by the family. The mother takes responsibility for baby care and she must adapt well to all the needs of the baby. This resulting in reduced maternal rights, freedom, and social relations of the mothers. Postpartum depression generally occurs in this period.
Factors that influence the success of the transition to the period of becoming a parent at the time of postpartum include:
- Response and support of family and friends
For postpartum mothers, especially for the new mothers, will need the support of those closest relatives to her since she is not fully in a stable condition, both physically and psychologically. The mother is still very weird with the change in the new role to be a mother. A positive response from the environment will accelerate the process of adaptation so it will be easier to provide care.
- Relationships from childbirth experiences to hopes and aspirations
The things experienced by mothers during childbirth will be very colored with their role as mothers. They finally found out that it was so hard they had to struggle to give birth and that would enrich their life experiences. In some cases, she will be determined to further improve the quality of her relationship with her mother.
- Experience giving birth and raising a child before
Although this is not the first experience, the need to get positive support from the environment is no different from the new mother giving birth to her first child. The only difference is the technique of delivering support in passing difficult times in past labor.
- Cultural influences
Especially if there are things that do not match between the direction of health workers with the culture adopted. In this case, the midwife must be wise in responding but does not reduce the quality of care that must be given. Family involvement from the beginning in determining the form of care is important. The appropriate care must be given to the mother and baby to make it easier for midwives providing care.
The initial postpartum phenomenon or baby blues are common, usually occurs in 70% of women giving birth. There are several reasons of this thing, including less favorable birth environments, rapid hormonal changes, and doubts about new roles. None of the three things are consistent as the causes. The causative factor is usually a combination of various factors, including the presence of sleep disorders that cannot be avoided by the mother during the early days of becoming a mother.
Postpartum blues usually begin several days after birth and gradually end after 10 to 14 days. Postpartum blues characteristics include crying, feeling tired from childbirth, anxiety, mood swings, withdrawal, and negative reactions to babies and families. Birth experience is described as “peak” condition. A new mother may feel that her care is not strong or she does not receive proper care. They may also feel neglected if their family’s attention suddenly focuses on the baby.
The key to supporting the mother through this period is to give her good attention and support also make sure that she is someone meaningful to her husband and family. The most important thing is to allow getting enough rest. Besides, positive support for the success of being a parent can recharge the self-confidence.
Maternity loss is something experienced by women with the experiences of infertility, prematurity or congenital disability, and loss of internal intimacy with the baby and loss of attention. Another loss called as changes in exclusive relations between husband and wife become divided after the existence of a child.
In this case, “grieving” is divided into 3 stages including:
- Shock stage
This stage is the initial stage of loss. Manifestations of behavior include denial, distrust, anger, annoyance, fear, anxiety, guilt, emptiness, solitude, sadness, lack of concentration, and so forth.
- Stage of suffering (phase of reality)
Acceptance of the facts of loss and adjustment to the reality occurred during this period. During this time the life of the grieving person will continue. When individuals continue to carry out their task of grieving, the dominance of their loss gradually changes into anxiety about the future.
- Phase resolution (phase determines meaningful relationships)
During this period, the grieving person receives a loss, the adjustment is complete, and the individual returns to full function.