Aren’t there a few things that we think happen only to the others? PPD was that for me! Having been in a paramedical field, I thought I knew it all, but the truth is, I didn’t know even an iota, seriously!
Indian stats say, upto 48% women in India suffer from some form of postpartum depression- And these are the reported numbers, I’m so sure there so many more cases that go unheard, unseen and unnoticed 🙁
Before I begin, here’s a disclaimer: I’m going to be super transparent and perhaps, even brutally honest about this, but I guess it’s time we get vocal and not suffer alone!
During my pregnancy, I, like most moms, had severe nausea, vomiting, difficulty in sleeping and so much more. While I endured it all, I smiled and stayed happy, because I knew there’s a bright morning waiting for me, and believe me, there was, I was blessed with an extremely cute and adorable daughter and that day, was the happiest day of my life so far, it was magic! 🙂 But what happened later, I wasn’t prepared for it! After a couple of days, I started feeling like never before, completely disillusioned, overwhelmed, sometimes even possessive about her, for no reason at all. On some days, I cried alone, when I stood under the shower, I missed my pregnancy, or rather, missed my unmarried days, and then there were days, I felt like the most luckiest soul to have such a wonderful partner and such a beautiful daughter. I felt like I was in an emotional roller-coaster!. There were times when I just wanted someone to take her for an hour or two so that I get back to my senses and start feeling a little normal, and then there were times I felt so possessive that I hated when someone held her, or even touched her, and worst, if someone commented on her.
(Here’s a piece of advise, if you’re not a mom yet, never comment on how the baby is or how she is handling the baby in front of a new mom, NEVER! You have absolutely no idea of what she is going through!)
Worst of all, I felt lonely and miserable-for completely no reason, and then I detested myself for being so ungrateful.
With time, I learnt how to deal with it. I’ve jotted down a few things that helped me and will perhaps help some new or soon-to-be moms too!
- Be prepared: If you’re soon to delve into motherhood, I pray you don’t feel or go through this at all, but there’s no harm in being prepared! Read a little about it, talk to your spouse or your mom or even your close friend. Inform them about PPD and tell them that you’ll need them. It’s always good to have someone close with you if you happen to go through this.
- Be vocal: If you feel low, depressed or gloomy, it’s always better to detoxify yourself. Cry on someone’s shoulder and express how you feel, get someone who won’t judge and give you all the needed support. Don’t let anything bottle up within you, be vocal, be stress-free! Also, if you think you’re more depressed than you should be, take medical advise. There’s no need to shy away, it isn’t an illness, it’s just a phase and getting help will only make you feel good!
- Be deaf ears: Now, this is something easier said than done, I know, I feel you mama. But believe me, people who comment on how the baby is- lean or fat, dark or fair, tall or short, or just anything- are definitely not your well wishers. If replying back isn’t polite (or if you’re bad at confronting in a tricky way, like me), just be deaf ears. Don’t let anything make you feel worse- just breathe, ignore and thank the Creator for blessing you with a bounty, which is so profound!
- Find some ‘me time’: If you’re having sleepless nights (which I’m sure you’ll have, unless you’re really lucky!), ask someone to take care of the baby for just an hour or two, and you relax, sleep, read, get a facial done 😛 (You’ll need it, lol) or just do anything that you enjoy. It’ll rejuvenate you, get you energised again and hopefully, you won’t be stressed like before 🙂
With that, I wish you all the good luck! If you’re a mom already and have experienced this, share your bit. I’d really like it, and most importantly, new mommies will know they’re not alone.
And yeah, it’s a phase and it’ll pass on even before you realise. As your little ones grows, her charms and antics will fill you with joy and you’ll forget all of it!