Throughout her pregnancy, Mary was as excited as any other woman might be. The pregnancy was her first, and she knew she would give it all the love in the world. The mum-to-be did not make this a secret as well to anyone who would hear. She could not wait to hold her baby in her arms and finally give it the name she had carefully chosen with her spouse. However, after six hours of labour and the baby was finally here, she did not want to hold it. She would not even look at it, and this surprised many people. Mary is not alone as women have been known to refuse to suckle their babies, throw them down, kill them and do so other heinous acts.
These women are not heartless and no, they do not hate their children. The mothers are suffering from a condition known as postpartum depression. Also known as baby blues, the condition is a type of depression experienced by a mother following childbirth and typically arises from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
With symptoms such as not feeling like an adequate mother, feeling overwhelmed, feeling disconnected from everyone and getting irritated or angry, it is easy to cause harm to yourself or the baby. Due to ignorance, society has not addressed this matter adequately, and matters continue to deteriorate with women being arrested for some of these actions that are not their fault. Post-traumatic depression may be caused by a few issues, and first-time mothers are more likely to suffer from it especially if they lack a support system.
You can spend a whole day trying to calm a restless baby which in turn makes you nervous, wondering where you’re going wrong. You might want to take care of other duties around the house but once you start the baby wakes up crying and demanding for your undivided attention leaving you with halfway accomplished chores.
A baby needs all the attention and care in this world which might hinder you from doing certain things in life. One might even find themselves behind closed doors for a month straight doing nothing but taking care of a newborn. Theses factors may lead one to postpartum depression, and without knowing it, you find yourself breaking down every other minute.
Studies have shown that 1 out of 7 women suffer from postpartum depression with the symptoms starting a few days or weeks after delivery. One gets to experience all kinds of emotions from being happy one minute and sad the next.It’s okay to take time off from motherhood once in a while, do something other than just feed your baby and change the diapers. You do not have to punish yourself all in the name of being a good mum; no one is perfect after all.
Visiting a doctor when symptoms are detected is the best thing to do for treatment although there are a few ways to cope with PPD at home. In case you suffer from postpartum depression, here are a few pointers to help you deal with it;
Ask for help
You do not have to take care of your baby all by yourself, of course, you might be worried about other people handling your child, but at the end of the day, you need help. Get a nanny, a relative or a trusted friend to help with mum duties. Babies sleep less during the night, and this is the time you might need some rest, get someone that can help you look after the baby while you rest or take naps.
Make time for yourself
Unwind by doing anything that gets your mind and body to relax. Watch a movie, listen to some music, read a magazine or novel just something relaxing. Do this at least an hour every day, and you’ll find that by the end of the day you go to bed a happy person.
Make time for your other half- Plan for a movie or dinner night at least once a week. Go to a romantic place, laugh and catch up with your partner and if being away from your baby is too much to ask for go for evening walks together. All these and much more will bring you so much joy knowing your partner still has your best interests at heart. Set a day where you do something you both like at least once a week.
Find a flexible home workout program where you can do some light exercises around the house for at least 30 minutes a day. Exercising rejuvenates bodies both physically and mentally and doing this every day will leave you feeling so good about yourself. Light workouts are also a great way to bouncing back into shape.
Join a mum’s club
Joining a mums club can help in ways you that might surprise you especially if you’re a first-time mother. Such organizations allow mums to attend sessions with their baby’s where they meet with fellow mothers and get to talk about motherhood and taking care of babies. You also get to learn a lot abut raising a child and get to bond with fellow mums.
Talk about it
Postpartum depression isn’t a thing to be ashamed of, remember a problem shared is a problem half solved. Talk to your partner or a close friend about it; people might not know when you need a shoulder to lean on. Never be too proud to open up.
Eat and maintain a healthy diet- it might not only be good for yourself but also for your child’s growth. Avoid fatty and unhealthy foods, include more fruits, vegetables, and fluids in your diet. Coupled up with a great workout plan healthy eating also helps boost one’s self-confidence which in turn reflects in your day to day activities.
At the end keep in mind that someone is depending on you wholly for their development. Don’t feel too needy to ask for help, prevention is better than cure and PPD isn’t permanent.