The journey to motherhood is joyful, loving , meaningful as you have brought a new baby into this world to nurture and love. In some experiences, being a new mother can also mean feeling overwhelmed, tired and stressed.
As a new mother, there are many changes that may occur causing stressful experiences. These include physical changes, such as having to carry a baby, breastfeeding and recovering from the birth which can be traumatic. Emotional changes occur where the mom might not feel as supported and mentally fatigued due to tending to the needs of her infant and possibly other family members.
When a stress response is triggered through physical or emotional changes, the brain activates the Sympathetic Nervous System(SNS) which is also known as fight and flight. The fight and flight system allows the body to be well prepared for the stressors. The Sympathetic Nervous System works in perpendicular to the Parasympathetic Nervous System( rest digest and repair) and both systems cannot function at the same time.
Some of the responses of the SNS activated are increased blood supply to muscles of the arms, neck and shoulders and calves, hamstrings and gluteus muscles, shallow breathing and increased heart rate to pump more blood throughout the body. When the stresses are prolonged, the symptoms that a mother might get is increased tension in all her muscles, energy depletion, fatigue and increased blood pressure.
By addressing the stresses in the body, balance will be restored between the activation of the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous System. One of the ways to reduce stress is to take 5 deep breathes into the stomach. Pulling the shoulders back while smiling and breathing will also help to reduce some of the stresses. To have your Nervous system assessed by a Chiropractor to see where the stresses in are in the body and may address some symptoms that you have been feeling. New mothers should all have a support group where they can all share their experiences and have similar journeys of motherhood together.
Motherhood is a Beautiful journey.
Dr. Francoise Chen