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Why talking about emotional changes during pregnancy is a Taboo in our Society

Why talking about emotional changes during pregnancy is a Taboo in our Society

Nani PK |

It is known that overwhelmed emotions are a natural part of the motherhood transition. Anybody can find plenty of information on how to deal with pregnancy and parenting, but when it comes to the emotional changes and changes in personality in both parents after a child, there is not much information. It’s a kind of taboo in our society and is never talked about that much. Even if we do talk about it, it’s usually about postpartum depression.

We need a new model to understand the transition to motherhood. The developmental transition to motherhood is the stage of life called matrescence. And like the transition of the baby to toddler or transition of child to adulthood, matrescence is a natural but distinct period of life. In matrescence stage of life, the emotions, hormones, periods of self-doubt, and fights are all normal, not a mental health issue.

Even modern research suggests that women have unique hormonal, biological, and emotional needs during the matrescene stage of life, but those needs are too often neglected by the mother herself and by the people surrounding her. Studies suggest that tools like mindfulness can be helpful to mothers in having a greater sense of accomplishment during the transition to motherhood and labor. Many psychologists say that communication and empathy between new parents can prove vital. So the vital questions are:

Question: Why is it important to do more research on this stage of life?

There are fewer opportunities for education and research about psychological development. Although there are studies on the psychological development of a human, none of the classic models separates a woman’s unique experience. Women and men are seen differently in all aspects of life but when it comes to psychological development of humans, researchers assume that men and women have the same data. And that’s why studies come late about women, like heart diseases in women, or how pregnancy causes cardiac problems. In history, the whole Food and Drug Administration clinical trials excluded women of reproductive age, and they still do not include pregnant women in clinical trials, that’s why we’ve been really behind in the literature regarding the matrescence stage of life.

Even in functional neuroimaging studies, researchers have been focused on changes in the brain in regards to diseases. But what about changes in the brain during pregnancy? Well, there is not much research in that area. And it is true for most areas concerning women’s health. This area is in dire need of research. Even postpartum depression has not been fully researched. Many women think they have postpartum depression but their symptoms are not quite a match with that. Postpartum itself really just describes a limited time period.

A mother has so much on her plate when it comes to home and children. The single sole has to manage all the house herself, do the daily chores, and attend to their children. Children seem to make the usual work more hectic and stressed for the mothers, which in short makes them tired.

Question: How to prepare for parenthood, the role of social support in it?

Being emotional during pregnancy and during the transition to motherhood is extremely normal for women. That is why it is important to normalize such conversations. The conversation will help in reducing shame and stigma around all negative emotions during that stage of life.

More conversations are needed around breastfeeding, miscarriages, or fertility issues in men and women. We need to find ways and build supportive communities for women to talk openly about their concerns and issues. Women should have access to talk therapy, new mothers’ groups to talk about their first-time experiences, and better access to professional help is another important milestone that is yet to be achieved in our country.

Right now, people are focused on the objects you buy for newborn babies, celebrations around them like baby showers that suck up the place to talk about the crucial and more complex reality of motherhood.

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