Postpartum Depression OR Matrescence? | Unina

Want to know if it’s the “baby blues” or something more serious like Postpartum depression? We have some further info to help you below

postpartum depression

Are you feeling a bit off after having your baby? Want to know if it’s something that’ll pass or if it’s something to look into more seriously?’

Well this post is all about the changes your body and brain goes through and how it can affect your mental health

You’ll find out more information to see if it’s simply the “baby blues” or something to look further into.

Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting and enriching journeys in life. It’s also incredibly challenging – sometimes even overwhelming! During this transition, it’s important to be mindful of your emotions. Whether you’re adjusting to the changes associated with matrescence or worried that postpartum depression has set in, being open-minded and taking care of yourself plays an essential role in getting through these times. At Unina, we want to provide insight into both matrescence and postpartum depression: what they are, how they manifest themselves differently and warning signs to be aware of. Ready? Let’s dive right in!

Matrescence Meaning

Becoming a mother is so much more than just having the baby! Matrescence, first coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael in the mid-70s, explains this transition as one that marks physical, emotional and hormonal changes. Unfortunately due to lack of understanding sometimes it’s misdiagnosed as postnatal depression. This is an alarming issue we need to address.

Matrescence Brain

Pregnancy not only prepares a mother’s body for the physical tasks of childbirth and breastfeeding, but also her brain. Through hormonal changes that scientists are now recognizing more clearly, mommy-brain or baby-brain equips moms with mental tools to become wonderful caregivers – including restructuring their social brains in its entirety!

Setting the stage for a strong bond with your baby starts in pregnancy! Research reveals that motherhood is connected to changes in brain volume and activity, supporting empathy and theory of mind. These abilities help parents better understand their child’s needs – even before they can express them verbally – aiding parents as they provide optimal care while building an attachment to the infant. With these built-in advantages, mothers have more confidence when it comes to parenting duties which leads to greater satisfaction overall!

Becoming a parent is an undeniably life-changing experience! Matter of fact, adolescence is often compared to matrescence due to the similarities in drastic hormaonal and life changes. Recent research uncovered that elderly mothers with more children had thicker grey matter in their hippocampus – and better memory for words too. Although age-related cognitive decline is a natural part of life, this research has revealed that motherhood offers an unexpected protective effect on the brain. Elderly women with more children showed patterns of activity in their brains which were opposite to those seen during normal ageing – suggesting that parenthood can literally keep your mind younger! Additionally, results indicated similar neuroprotective effects across different areas such as structure and cognition – further proving the positive impacts parenting could have for elderly mothers’ minds.

Matrescence Symptoms

New motherhood can be an exciting yet challenging transition! It’s normal for most mamas to experience the “baby blues” or also known as matrescence symptoms soon after childbirth. Some common signs are changes in mood, increased anxiety and disrupted sleeping patterns that normally last up until 14 days post-delivery. Take care of yourself and remember you’ll get through this new chapter one step at a time!

Expectation vs reality

In particular; becoming a mother is an exciting, yet daunting journey. You may find yourself asking when you’ll have the time for your hobbies again or become “yourself”. It’s as though the motherhood books and blog posts weren’t true. It’s natural to feel some amount of disappointment; however remember that questioning your decision does not mean it wasn’t the right choice — just part of the learning process!

Shame and Ambivalence

It’s only natural to feel conflict when trying something completely new, like motherhood. It can be overwhelming, and tricky at times – but don’t forget it isn’t just you struggling! You’re not alone in feeling the ambivalence that goes hand-in-hand with such a big life change; many moms are right there with you.

Mood Swings

Navigating the beautiful, yet complex journey of motherhood can be an emotional rollercoaster. Your body is undergoing extensive changes while your hormones and emotions also go through waves – similar to those during teenage years! It’s okay if you’re feeling overwhelmed with watching the news or irritability. Remember that these feelings are often a part of this empowering process called matrescence which doesn’t make you any less worthy as a mom!

Postpartum Depression Meaning

After the amazing transformation of childbirth, many moms experience a range of emotions – from fatigue to joy. But unfortunately some mothers may find themselves facing postnatal/postpartum depression: an often overlooked yet serious condition. Postpartum depression is impacted by psychological and hormonal adjustments. Which accompany the new role as a parent, along with feelings  of fatigue. This affects both expecting mothers during pregnancy and even potentially after birth into child raising years too.

postpartum depression

Postpartum Depression Symptoms (Signs Of Postpartum Depression)

After the joyous experience of childbirth, some mothers can find themselves feeling overwhelmed by a deep sadness and loneliness. This is known as postpartum depression, and its symptoms may manifest in feelings of hopelessness or changes to sleep quality/appetite. If you are experiencing any such signs after welcoming your little one into this world please seek support – there’s no shame in asking for help! Below are some specific symptoms.

Mood swings

Struggling with your moods? Severe dips or extreme highs can be a sign of depression, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help – talking about it is the first step towards feeling better.


Sometimes letting out your feelings through tears can be a great way to relieve stress and make yourself feel better. It’s important to recognize which times are appropriate for crying, and also when it is becoming a lot more than just the occasional emotional release. This could allude to something more.

Not connecting with baby

Struggling to connect with your newborn? It’s completely normal for parents and their little ones to take some time finding common ground. Yet when it takes a prolonged amount of time past the initial 2 week matrescence stage, it should be noted.

(Want to develop a stronger relationship with your child? Here’s a perfect tool!)

Social isolation

It’s common for new parents to feel overwhelmed after the birth of their child, which can lead them to desire some quiet time away from social engagements. However, when it becomes a habit to avoid  family and friends and becomes more of a struggle to be around them, this could indicate something more when in conjunction with other symptoms.

Change in appetite

After the arrival of a new life, mothers may experience changes in appetite. Though some may find themselves feeling no hunger at all while others feel an increased drive to eat more than usual 

Unusual sleeping patterns

Insomnia and oversleeping can be frustrating and taxing on the body’s energy reserves. By having unreliable sleeping patterns this can exacerbate postpartum depression struggles

Significant change in energy

Moments where energy has completely drained away and an overwhelming tiredness takes over should not be brushed aside. So if you are feeling this way then please take the time to check in with yourself and assess if it’s something deeper

Disinterest in pleasurable activities or hobbies

Have you found yourself feeling like the life has gone out of activities that used to spark your enthusiasm? Postpartum depression results in struggling with feelings of loss and lethargy when it comes to things once cherished.

Intense anger and irritability

Being a new parent can be overwhelming, especially with the added pressure of managing intense irritability and anger. Some of this emotion with any change is natural. But again, if it is becoming more of a common occurrence – it should be looked into.

Fear of not being a good mother

Despite your best efforts, you can’t fight the dread that maybe you’re not being a good mother.


The joys of being a Mama are overshadowed by feelings of hopelessness. Leaving you to battle your emotions alone.

Severely lessened sense of self worth

A heavy heart that struggles to hold up the weight of worthlessness, shame and guilt. An inability to break free from feelings of inadequacy no matter how hard you try.

Reduced cognitive clarity

Struggling to find the focus and energy needed for even basic decisions, life has become a series of foggy moments with no clear direction.


Like searching for a connection or meaning that can’t be found.

Anxiety and panic attacks

When your world has been reduced to a prison of fear and anguish. Shackled each day with paralyzing panic attacks that keep you from living life.

Thoughts of self harm or harming the baby

The thought of hurting yourself or a helpless newborn is heartbreaking in a clear mind. These dark ideas are a large indicator of postpartum depression

Suicidal ideation

It’s as if there’s an oppressive weight that drags you further down into a dark gloom. Thoughts too dire to be spoken aloud where death or suicide seem like a tempting escape.

postpartum depression statistics

Postpartum Depression Statistics

After giving birth, about 6.5-20% of women may experience postpartum depression within the first six weeks – a condition that can cause overwhelming feelings and difficulty bonding with your baby.

Having a baby is one of the greatest joys in life, yet many women are not aware that an alarming number experience postpartum depression after giving birth. Current research suggests that for 1 out of every 7 to 10 new mothers, this difficult challenge will be part of their journey into motherhood.

Postpartum depression affects so many new parents, and the length of time it lasts can depend on a range of variables. Generally speaking, most people will see improvements to their symptoms within 3-6 months – but don’t forget everyone’s journey is unique!

Unfortunately, approximately half of mothers suffering from postpartum depression go undiagnosed by healthcare providers. Sadly, this means that many aren’t receiving the support they need to recover and make progress in their recovery journey.

Most moms who experience postpartum depression will eventually be able to recover and feel like themselves again. With as many as 80% making a full recovery – there is hope for a brighter future ahead!

Male Postpartum Depression

Struggling with postpartum depression is hard enough, but it can also be difficult for partners of those affected. Research has revealed that half of men whose partner experiences this form of depression will go through similar struggles. Postnatal depression impacts up to 10% of fathers. If you, or your partner experiences this – seeking help will support themselves and the family.

How Long Does Postpartum Depression Last

Postpartum depression can occur anytime in the first year after childbirth and beyond. Research shows that 5% of women experience prolonged symptoms for up to three years post-birth – an issue which requires ongoing screenings even outside of the traditional ‘postpartum period’. If untreated, it can have ongoing lasting effects for years after. This proves it’s an important mental health issue well into motherhood.

This post was all about postpartum depression and matrescence. Providing more information for your mental health in this postpartum journey.

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