THE REALNESS OF POSTNATAL DEPRESSION AND THE URGENT NEED TO FIGHT IT
So, I recently read a story about a mother who allegedly threw her baby out of a moving car due to postnatal depression.
The lady had just had the baby two months prior and was living with her parents. However, while on a drive, they didn’t notice the woman throw her baby outside the window and attempted to jump out of the moving vehicle herself.
Though still in the hospital, her baby died due to severe injuries which she suffered after been flung out the window.
How scary is this? My heart was broken as I read the story.
What is this thing about post-natal depression and how can it be handled?
Google defines it this way, “Postnatal depression is depression suffered by a mother following childbirth, typically arising from the combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue”.
Having a baby is a huge life-changer for most, if not all parents. Adjusting to the arrival of the newborn and trying to fit the precious baby into your lives may become overly distressing for some couples especially mothers.
Signs such as feeling teary, anxious and moody after the first 2-3 days of the baby’s birth is normal and termed “baby blues”. However, if these signs do not subside, or get worse or do not totally disappear after the 3 days, it may be an indication that you are developing depression.
According to pregnancybirth&baby, some other common signs to watch out for after these 3 days include:
- having a very low mood
- feeling inadequate and a failure as a mother
- having a sense of hopelessness about the future
- feeling exhausted, empty, sad and teary
- feeling guilty, ashamed or worthless
- feeling anxious or panicky
- having trouble sleeping, sleep for too long or have nightmares
- worrying excessively about their baby
- feeling scared of being alone or going out
At this time, you need the support of everyone particularly your partner, family and friends to help you get through it. If you experience this, please do not hide it or try to cover it up. Seek help.
This in no way suggests that you are an unfit mother or that you do not love your child enough or that you are weak but on the contrary.
A range of different treatments can help with postnatal depression, including:
- group treatment
- support strategies
- medications such as antidepressants
You deserve to marvel in the miracle of your baby and bask in the joys of motherhood. Don’t let depression steal that joy from you.
PHOTO CREDIT: rebelcircus.com