Everyone told Sandra she would be happy. People described in rapt detail the overwhelming feeling of love and purpose that would envelop her at her daughter's birth. Nothing prepared Sandra for the heavy fog of dread and loss that descended upon her in the delivery room on the day she gave birth. When the nurse handed her the crying, bruised, purple-pink bundle, Sandra had to fight the urge to hand the bundle back and run. She wanted to turn the clock back nine months before any of this had happened. When she did spend time with her daughter, instead of singing soothing lullabies, Sandra found herself whispering, "I hate you. I wish you had never been born." Pregnancy, childbirth, and early motherhood is supposed to be a time filled with the joy and wonder of bringing a new life into the world. Unfortunately, some women find that the struggles of early motherhood are accompanied by multiple sorrows that clash with this picturesque ideal. As difficult as it may be for a person who has not experienced it to understand, Sandra's feelings are quite common among new mothers struggling with the physical, emotional, and social upheaval that follows giving birth. In this transitional period, some women become more vulnerable to depression and may experience psychiatric disorders such as postpartum depression and postpartum psychosis. Postpartum Disorders will tell you more about these disorders, the experiences of the women who have faced them, and the treatments that can help.
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