Holding your baby in your arms is one of the best feelings in the world. The awe and excitement of finally bringing your baby to the world cannot be explained with mere words. However, nothing prepares you for the different emotions that strike afterwards.
The experience of pregnancy and childbirth is often followed by sadness, fear and anxiety. Many women have difficulty finding the energy to care for themselves, their infants, and their families.
Post Partum disorder (PPD) is different from the baby blues which can make you feel moody, weepy, tired and anxious. Baby blues usually gets better within a few hours, or days, after birth but PPD does not.
What is Post Partum Depression
A mum shared with us that after quite a difficult pregnancy and childbirth, the first time she held her baby in her arms, she was happy. She was happy that she was alive and healthy. However, when she took her home, the feeling of euphoria left. She stopped being happy and started being angry.
She hated hearing her cry at night, She hated having to wake up to feed/change her and she hated herself as well for feeling that way. It took her a while alongside counselling to get past that point and truly show love to her daughter irrespective of what she went through to have her.
Postpartum depression is a serious illness that can occur in the first few months after childbirth. It also can happen after miscarriage and stillbirth. This depression can last for months. Postpartum depression can make you feel very sad, hopeless, and worthless. You may also have trouble caring for and bonding with your baby.
You are not alone
Most mums usually feel alone and cannot share how they feel because of our cultural beliefs. Sometimes, other women will make you feel like it is not possible to ever feel that way about your own child. But the truth is that you are not alone. The fact that it did not happen to them does not mean it cannot happen to anybody.
Any woman may become depressed during pregnancy or after having a baby. It doesn’t mean you are a bad mother. Postpartum Depression is not something to be swept under the carpet or assume it does not happen in our society
A woman who has postpartum depression may:
- Feel very sad, hopeless, and empty. Some women also may feel anxious.
- Lose pleasure in everyday things.
- Not feel hungry and may lose weight. (But some women feel more hungry and gain weight).
- Have trouble sleeping.
- Not be able to concentrate.
- Feel unworthy or guilty.
- Have low self-esteem and worry that people don’t like you.
- Find it hard to remember things, or make decisions.
- Feel anxious or worried about things.
According to WebMD, the cause of postpartum depression is not clear. The sharp drop in the hormones estrogen and progesterone after childbirth may trigger the illness, and lack of sleep can contribute as well. Some women feel conflicted about their changing identity and new responsibilities, and this can factor in. If you’ve had depression in the past, you’re more likely to develop postpartum depression.
Tips to Feel Better
If you’re feeling depressed, the following strategies may help you feel better.
- Accept help from family and friends.
- Rest when you can.
- Spend time with other new mothers who can relate to what you’re going through.
- Hire a babysitter and take time for yourself.
- Make an effort to get a little exercise every day. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, and drinking plenty of water can also help you start to feel more like yourself again. Another benefit of eating right and exercising: You’ll get your pre-baby body back quicker, and that will give your self-esteem a boost.
Postpartum Depression can escalate into postpartum psychosis if left untreated. If you are going through any of the symptoms above, you need to speak out. Talk to your doctor or psychologist, pastor or to us here at LagosMums and we will guide you in the right direction on what next step to take.
Did you experience Postpartum Depression? Or do you know any mum who did? Share with us, let’s hear your story so that we can help other mothers and mothers to be.