The Goddess who receives No Devotion: Postpartum Issues Faced by Women


Women have historically been seen as the embodiment of selfless devotion to those close to them. Little girls are indoctrinated to behave a certain way by societal structure from an early age. They receive instruction and preparation in the etiquette of the desirable characteristics of perfectionism from society and their close family members. Paradoxically, everything is done to assist the patriarchal culture around the girl rather than the girl herself. The funniest bit of all of this is that some women aren't even aware that they are being taken advantage of in the name of family honour and integrity. She has been graced with the ability to be kind, compassionate, loving, caring, and modest. The capacity to carry a child in her womb: this gift has given her the rightful place to be worshipped as God. This is due to the fact that a woman bears the same load as God in creating new life. Regrettably, the terrible demands of society have not spared her this gift.

Menstruation is a phenomenon that only affects women. It has, unfortunately, always been encircled by misconceptions and taboos that keep women from participating in many facets of sociocultural life. We are constantly witnessing new inventions thanks to technological growth, and even the way our planet functions have changed. However, since ancient times, the beliefs and misconceptions surrounding menstruation haven't seemed to change at all. Menstruating women are still compelled to reside outside their own homes for 5 or 7 days in many Indian villages because they are seen as untouchables. They are not only forbidden to enter the house's premises, but they are also deemed impure. Having said that, we must not lose sight of the fact that her alleged condition is totally natural and is the one that she purposefully hasn't requested. The icing on the cake of this illness is the tremendous pain it causes. Being forced to endure the trauma for five days without sufficient hygiene and care, sometimes in an animal shelter, makes her condition worse, which is far from being a situation worthy of worship. Not alone does this phenomenon cause bodily anguish. Imaginable emotional and psychological suffering are there too. Due to the prejudice they face, their emotional strength is compromised, which negatively impacts their confidence. They become more vulnerable as a consequence of societal pressures. They are under siege from members of their own family. Every month, this trauma is perpetuated. Even some households with high levels of education are sailing in the same boat.  Their external polish makes it exceedingly challenging to evaluate their internal behaviour in relation to this circumstance.

It's misleading to claim that no one is truly concerned about this issue facing women. Undoubtedly, the times are evolving. Today's learned males have begun to take note of this predicament of women. In many unique ways, they are helping and   supporting the ladies. The women are now emerging from their shells thanks to the assistance and support of the men. They currently hold important positions in the corporate sector and are highly compensated financially and in terms of benefits. Despite this, their unrest is still prevalent. It is debatable how much money women make in comparison to their male counterparts. They often not only put in more effort but also obtain lower wages than males. The hardships persist after this. Along with their official work, these women must flawlessly cater to their families and households. As a result, they frequently find themselves split between their domestic and professional commitments. Since this is hard for humans to do, they are the ones who are supposed to be perfect in both realms. They frequently experience a variety of impacts as a result of dividing their attention between these two worlds, including weariness, insomnia, depression, and many others.

Another challenge for many working women is sexual harassment at work. Women are progressively exposed to sexual harassment at work by a variety of individuals, including employers, co-workers, and even subordinates, in addition to the pressure from their own families. These occurrences were not previously reported, but women have recently begun to do so in front of society. The Me Too movement was one such initiative started by the women who were in the aforementioned predicament. Furthermore, there are multiple online forums where women may freely express their anguish and share their stories in order to accept the injustice that transpired to them, let go of their suffering, and hold those responsible accountable. The splintering of her own identity is something I must highlight. Women are more responsible than men for the harmonious operation of a family. Any misconduct happens in a family, and she is held accountable. If she confronts or questions anyone, she will be labelled as scummy, illiterate, blunt, disrespectful, and other derogatory terms.

Postpartum refers to the period following childbirth. Within a few days of giving birth, most mothers experience the "baby blues," or feelings of sadness or emptiness. The newborn blues typically disappear in 3 to 5 days for most mothers. You may have postpartum depression if your baby blues persist or if you feel depressed, hopeless, or empty for more than two weeks. It is not typical or expected for mothers to experience hopelessness or emptiness after giving birth to a baby.


Mental Issues:

Numerous psychological pressures are born during pregnancy and throughout the adjustment to parenting. Changes in her body image, her connections with her husband and family, her responsibilities, and how society views her all require a woman to adapt.

Postpartum Depression: The most frequent psychiatric consequence of childbirth is Postpartum Depression. Despite the fact that postpartum depression may have harmful repercussions on both the mother and her child, the condition is frequently undiagnosed and mistreated. Due to the stigma associated with mental illness, women may be hesitant to seek professional assistance, or they may be reluctant to try medication due to worries about safety while nursing.

A severe mental disorder that affects the brain, your behaviour, and your physical health is postpartum depression. If you have depression, you may have persistently depressing, life-interfering, or empty feelings. You can feel distant from your child, as if you are not the mother, or you might not feel any love or affection for the child. These emotions range from moderate to strong. Anxiety disorders can also affect mothers during or after pregnancy.

The following are Risk factors for postpartum disorders:


•Unmarried mother

•Cesarean sections or other perinatal or natal complications

•Prior history of psychotic illness, particularly prior history of anxiety and depression

•Family history of psychiatric illness, particularly prior episode of postpartum disorder

•Stressful life events, particularly during pregnancy and close to delivery

•History of sexual abuse; and

•Prior episode of postpartum disorder.

Symptoms of postpartum depression can be hard to detect. Many women have these symptoms following childbirth:

•Trouble sleeping 

•Appetite changes 

•Severe fatigue 

•Lower libido 

•Frequent mood changes 

•Being uninterested in your baby or feeling like you’re not bonding with them

•Crying all the time, often for no reason

•Depressed mood 

•Severe anger and crankiness

•Loss of pleasure 

•Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, and helplessness 

•Thoughts of death or suicide 

•Thoughts of hurting someone else

•Trouble concentrating or making decisions

Although there isn't a single cause of postpartum depression, various mental and emotional conditions could be a factor:

•Hormones: The sharp decline in estrogen and progesterone following childbirth could be a factor. Your thyroid gland's other hormone production may also experience a significant decline, leaving you feeling worn out, lethargic, and melancholy.

•Inadequate sleep: When you're exhausted and sleep deprived, you could find it difficult to deal with even simple issues.

•Anxiety: You might be worried about being able to take care of a newborn.

•Self-image: You can feel less attractive, have identity issues, or lack a sense of control over your life. Any one of these problems may be a factor in postpartum depression.

Types of Postpartum Depression:

Postpartum Psychosis: It typically appears within the first two weeks after delivery or, at most, within three months postpartum. It should be treated as a psychiatric and obstetrical emergency due to its acute and abrupt onset. The prenatal and postpartum treatment are negatively impacted by the existence of a psychotic condition. Some of the main risk factors for the development of Postpartum Psychosis include past experience of psychosis with prior pregnancies, history of bipolar disorder, and family history of psychotic illnesses (such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder).

Elation, liability of mood, rambling speech, disorderly behaviour, and hallucinations or delusions are among the symptoms that are most frequently experienced. The presentation and course of Postpartum Psychosis, however, may be more varied and complex, with passing or recurrent episodes of guilt, persecution, and auditory hallucinations, as well as delirium-like symptoms, disorientation, and excessive activity. Sometimes, delusions centre on the child, particularly the idea that the child is possessed, endowed with extraordinary abilities, divine, or dead. In 4% and 5% of Postpartum Psychosis patients, respectively, infanticide and suicide are reported. During the evaluation of women with Postpartum Psychosis, it is critical to ask about suicide and infanticidal thoughts.

 Baby Blues: Up to 70% of women experience the "baby blues" in the first few days following childbirth. You can have abrupt mood fluctuations, such as feeling extremely pleased then extremely depressed. You might cry without cause and experience irritability, crankiness, restlessness, anxiety, loneliness, and sadness. After delivery, the baby blues could persist anywhere from a few hours to 1 to 2 weeks. Baby blues are typically not treated by a medical professional. Joining a new moms' support group or speaking with other mothers can frequently be beneficial.

The argument that routine screening should be a crucial component of the assessment during postpartum clinic visits is reinforced by the fact that postpartum psychiatric illnesses are largely underdiagnosed. The use of population-specific screening tools, such as the "Mood Disorder Questionnaire" and the "Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale," can raise healthcare professionals' awareness of postpartum psychiatric disorders and assist in their early diagnosis. Studies utilizing screening techniques have reported noticeably higher rates of detection of postpartum psychiatric disorders. Laboratory tests and a careful physical examination should be performed. Rare medical illnesses such frontal lobe tuberculoma, front temporal dementia, and Sheehan syndrome can occasionally mimic postpartum psychological disorders.

Complete blood count, electrolytes, BUN, creatinine, glucose, Vitamin B12, folate, thyroid function tests, calcium, urinalysis, urine culture, and a urine drug screen are important examinations. To rule out the presence of a stroke caused by ischemia (vascular blockage) or bleeding, a thorough neurological evaluation is required, including a brain scan (cranial computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging) (due to uncontrolled hypertension, ruptured arteriovenous malformation, or aneurysm).


Physical Issues:

Vaginal Discharge: One may probably experience lochia, or vaginal discharge, for a few weeks following delivery. According to the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses, it will first resemble your period, but after a few days it will lighten to pink, then to pale white or yellow (AWHONN). If you choose not to breastfeed or if you choose to do so, your period will return a few months after giving birth.

Uterine Shrinkage: The uterus starts to gradually contract each day after giving birth after stretching to accommodate your developing baby. Your nurse or doctor can show you where to feel for the top of the organ just below your bellybutton to determine whether it is firm or not after birth. According to AWHONN, you should make sure that your uterus decreases by around a finger width every day. The organ typically takes six weeks to regain its pre-pregnancy size.

Perineum Pain: The perineum, which is the skin that lies between your vagina and rectum, may swell or tear during childbirth. For a few weeks, this could cause pain or discomfort. It may take up to three weeks for an episiotomy or perineotomy, an incision of the region that widens the vaginal opening to assist you in giving birth, to recover. Use any spray, ointment, or analgesic your doctor or nurse suggests for pain relief while keeping the area clean.

Blood Glucose Swings: According to the American Diabetes Association, if you had diabetes before becoming pregnant or developed gestational diabetes, your blood glucose levels after birth may change unexpectedly. Follow your doctor's recommendations for diet and medication to control your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels frequently. If you have gestational diabetes, don't be alarmed; the disease typically goes away, especially if you were able to manage it by eating healthfully and exercising.

Urinary Incontinence: According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, urine incontinence affects up to nearly 1 in 4 women after giving birth (AAFP). These probabilities rise if you give birth vaginally, if forceps are used to deliver the baby, if your pre-pregnancy BMI was greater, or if you exclusively breastfeed for a longer period of time.

Postpartum thyroiditis: Thyroid gland inflammation known as postpartum thyroiditis can happen after giving birth. The American Thyroid Association states that this illness frequently goes through two phases. Anxiety, insomnia, exhaustion, weight loss, and irritability are just a few of the symptoms of the thyrotoxic phase that are sometimes misinterpreted for stress. You might feel lethargic, put on weight, have constipation, have dry skin, and feel depressed during the hypothyroid phase. Your doctor can help you manage these symptoms, and the majority of women recover normal thyroid function.

Libido and Sexuality: Due to the fact that pre-pregnancy estrogen levels may not return for up to a year after birth, decreased libido and sexuality are a frequent postpartum problem, according to the AAFP. Your libido may be affected by bodily changes, exhaustion, and pregnancy anxiety.


Common postpartum complications:

The following were the leading causes of pregnancy-related mortality between 2011 and 2014, per the CDC:

•Vascular conditions

• Pre-existing conditions are frequently reflected in other medical conditions

•Sepsis or infection

• Excessive bleeding following delivery (hemorrhage)

•A condition that affects your heart's ability to pump blood to the rest of your body (cardiomyopathy)

• Blood clots from the legs that move to the lungs and clog one of the pulmonary arteries frequently cause this condition (thrombotic pulmonary embolism)


•Pregnancy problems caused by hypertension high blood pressure

•A rare yet severe illness that develops when fetal material, such as cells, or amniotic fluid, enters the mother's circulation (amniotic fluid embolism)

•Problems with anesthesia

Unknown causes of pregnancy-related deaths can occur occasionally.



Put your postpartum wellness first. Before having a baby, start planning your postpartum care. After giving birth, discuss your risk of a pregnancy-related issue with your healthcare practitioner, as well as any specialized aftercare you might require. Understand the warning signs and symptoms of a problem.

Additionally, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now advises postpartum care to be ongoing rather than limited to a single visit following delivery. In the first three weeks after delivery, get in touch with your doctor. Seek a thorough postpartum assessment from your healthcare practitioner no later than 12 weeks after birth. Speak with your provider if you're having problems finding time for an appointment. Ask your friends and relatives for assistance with child care.

Your doctor will conduct a medical check-up, evaluate your mood and emotional well-being, chat to you about birth control and spacing your babies' arrivals, review information on infant care and feeding, examine your sleep patterns and difficulties associated with fatigue, and discuss contraception with you. To make sure you're healing properly, your abdominal, vagina, cervix, and uterus may be examined. Any worries you may have about starting up your sexual life again or adjusting to life with a new baby can be discussed at this time.

        Additionally, be sure to mention the day you gave birth whenever you see a healthcare professional in the year after childbirth. By doing so, you can inform your healthcare professional that your symptoms might be related to a recent pregnancy.



Depending on the kind and severity of the symptoms, postpartum depression is treated differently. Medication for anxiety or depression, psychotherapy, and joining a support group for information and emotional support are all available as forms of treatment. Brexanolone (Zulresso), a novel medicine, may be administered intravenously (IV) in severe situations.

Drugs used to treat psychosis are frequently added in the case of postpartum psychosis. Admission to a hospital is frequently required.

Don't automatically think that since you are nursing, you can't take medicine for sadness, anxiety, or even psychosis. Consult your physician. Many women use medicine while nursing when under a doctor's care. You and your doctor should decide on this together.


Learn about the postpartum symptoms that startled these mothers the most:

“I had these uncontrollable shakes [postpartum chills] right after my daughter was placed on my chest. My midwives said all of the adrenaline in your body while you’re pushing can cause it once you stop. It was wild.” — Hannah B., South Carolina

“I didn’t breastfeed for medical reasons, and I had no idea how painful it would be on my body to not have that milk released.” — Leigh H., South Carolina

“I had no idea that I would literally have zero bladder control for the first few weeks after a vaginal birth. I remember laughing at something in the hospital and just peeing and not being able to stop!” — Lauren B., Massachusetts

“My hair, which has always been naturally very curly, started growing in pin straight. After I stopped breastfeeding, about a year and a half later, it went curly again. This happened with my first two, and I’m currently in the midst of it with number three.” — Aria E., New Hampshire

“I wish I had known about the damn hair loss and the fact that it would change my hairline forever.” — Ashleigh B., Texas

If I claimed that she was struggling or grieving entirely alone, I would be accused of being biased. Men are currently supporting and assisting women in countless ways, as I indicated above. In addition to helping out with chores around the house, they also provide them the freedom to follow their passions and pursue their aspirations. Today's women are sure that they have the backing of their male counterparts. It is accurate to argue that previous women paved the path for modern women. Their sacrifice is very much remembered. Their struggles and sorrows have served as a lesson for women today. They are learning a great deal to prevent history from being recreated.

The world would be entirely different today if it had been done sooner. God placed both men and women on this planet to serve significant roles, which may be accomplished when they coexist peacefully. However, something went wrong along the way, and this world eventually became one where women had to endure great suffering in order to please or support men. Every living thing on this earth has the right to freedom, and everyone should be granted that right. The women had to let go of their softer selves and focus only on conquering their agony.

Written by:

Simpy Sharma, Staff writer

Bhavleen Kaur, Sethi, staff writer