Post-natal depression affects up to 10% of women so the chances are that you won't experience full-blown post-natal depression. I came across this excellent first person report from a woman who discusses her experience post birth. A Zen Yoga Teacher Gets Real about PostPartum Depression
In this article, that describes an experience of post-natal depression, the author describes some of the experience that many women have after the birth of their child. The challenge to your identity and the shock that motherhood brings. Says the author Rachel Meyer,
'I mourned every aspect of life that had disappeared overnight: urbanity and autonomy, cocktails and solitude. Sleep. Teaching. Quiet mornings reading the news over coffee. My sanity-sustaining asana practice, the long creative hours alone, my previous monastic-ascetic writer’s life. The freedom to shower, to brush my teeth, to leave the house.'
I believe that this mourning is often part of having a child and becoming a mother - and it can be a shock, particularly when, as the author points out, you weren't expecting it.
'I was a yoga teacher. I was supposed to weather the storms of parenthood with grace: be positive and perky, measured and resilient, lose the baby weight in a flash, thrive on green juice and quinoa whilst wearing my baby like a kangaroo.'
Yet, what is important to know is that this isn't a state that will last for ever, it is impermanent. I often work with my clients on helping them access their sense of trust and intuition that they can whether difficult times, even if they do not know what it may be like. For Meyer, the phrase 'It won't always be that way' helped her though her post natal depression, allowing her to know that there would be a next stage in her journey once she got through this difficult and stressful period. This is something that can provide us with reassurance - knowing that even if we are feeling down and worried, that it will not last and that we can move through this. When we have a sense of this possibility, it can make the decision to have children much less difficult.