Friday, May 12, 2017

Mom confessions: Postnatal Depression

It's not easy to start this post. Recently, I chanced upon a post about a mother who jumped off the 12th storey of her HDB block with her newborn baby girl in her arms. I feel sad every time I hear news like this. I hope to share my story to bring awareness to Postnatal Depression (PND) which has always been a subject that is close to my heart. For those who follow may have read that I came from a single parent family but not many know the cause of my mother's death. She died from PND when my brother was little and I was only two years old. When I was really young, no one told me about her cause of death and I only got to find out when I was older. 

When I first discovered the truth, I felt sad that she chose to left us. 

I was curious about PND and read more about depression. After learning more about PND, 

I believe it's not her decision to end her life. She was lost and she's not in the right frame of mind. 

My dad told me before my mom died, she kept hallucinating that people talked bad about her. My dad thought she's just imagining things and it's nothing serious. At that time, depression was not a well known medical condition and not many people talk about it. If the people around her had known more about depression and if she managed to seek help, tragedy may not have happened. 

Ever since I became pregnant, my family paid extra attention to my emotional well-being. They were worried that I'll follow my mom's footsteps. Even I was worried. Because I have read so much about depression. I knew that anyone can be a victim of PND and the consequences of depression can be severe. In mild cases, a mother develops negative feeling and lack of motivation to connect. But in severe cases, a mother can hear things, see stuff and do things which are not within her control. 

And when people fall into that black hole, it's hard to get out by themselves, they need someone to pull them out.  

After my pregnancy, I tried to be vocal about my thoughts and emotions. I would share my thoughts with my hubby because I know it's important for me to share so that my close ones could help. It's a way for myself to help myself. 

Motherhood is not easy. When a woman becomes a mother, it can seem like everything in her world has changed. Our body stretches to accommodate another human being, our body produces so much hormones that make us hard to control our emotions. And during this changing process, we may feel that we are losing ourselves, we can no longer think, behave and make decisions like what we used to. 

And while these changes take place in our body, we struggle to strive in our new role as the caregiver to our babies who hardly know anything but only to cry when they need us. 

Any mothers can develop PND if they do not get the support they need. Mothers who need help may be scared to share their problems as they do not want to be judged or seen as less capable.

To all mothers out there, it's okay to seek help. We seek help because we care for our babies and we want to be a good mother. 

It's not a sign of weakness to seek help, it's a sign of growth which will make us into a stronger and wiser person. 

It's essential for friends and family to NOT judge or try to fault a mother, because you DON'T know what's best for her baby. Instead, be the audience and listen to her. When a mother grumbles, sometimes she just needs someone to assure her that she's not alone in this journey.  

Every sacrifice will be so worth it when we see the smile on our little ones. A mother needs to be well to be there to guide their little ones' growth. 

Mother's Day is right around the corner. I hope Mother's Day will not just be a day to celebrate with mothers. But a day for us to bring awareness to PND so that we can be more caring to all new mothers. We all can play our part to prevent PND. 

Happy Mother's Day. 

- Mommy eve 

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