PPD- That Dark Cloud
Not a day goes by and I don’t read an article or two about depression, post-partum depression to be precise, I don’t go looking for them they are somehow trending and end up on my timeline. A dark cloud that most moms know all too well, some have weighed down on it to the point ending their own life, sparking people to start campaigns to create awareness on PPD. Some manage to eventually creep from under the shadows, making it into the light just in the nick of time.
Did you know that according to CDC, about 20% of women suffer from Post Partum Depression after giving birth at some point in their lives? PPD is a monster that most moms associate with shame and end up fighting alone, it is rarely talked about and with every passing day that we are caught up in the darks, we get more depressed.
The shame that comes with having a hard time to raise someone you have been waiting for, for 9 months can really take a toll, we are somehow expected to be super moms, no orientation, no probation period, no job description, yet there are scores for failure if we aren’t doing it as our last relative, neighbour, colleague, friend. We hide and fight alone, we cry into the pillow at night before our partner comes home and we have to be collected, to be strong, we are not given a chance to breakdown and say we are failing, we are having a hard time, we are not enjoying it as we thought we would.
Then social media facades make us really question our love for these little humans, even though we know we are willing to die for them. Your friend will comment of a stranger’s photo who has just given birth and she says she has never been so in love with a person she had just met. By virtue of your friend commenting, it shows up on your timeline, just to remind you of yet another thing that you are failing at.
Post partum depression is often hard to diagnose, often because we do not even realise that we are going through it. We think it’s just another sad day, just overwhelmed, she will be better tomorrow which means I will be better, baby blues, not depression, just baby blues, they will pass.
The pressure is added on us with innocent statements like, happy mummy happy baby, which means the reason my baby is crying all the time and is fussy and is having a hard time sleeping, is generally not happy is because I am not happy. We start blaming ourselves for the sadness of these little human beings even though it is their nature to cry and there are other factors that contribute to their unhappiness.
Little rocks build the huge wall that is PPD, A dis-engaged spouse, nanny issues, In-laws and their expectations, healing from the birth wound either CS or normal delivery, pressure to have sex from spouse, work – sometimes the boss has unrealistic expectations they just can’t give you the 3 months stipulated by the law and you really need the job, self employed mums who have to make sure that the business stays afloat regardless of the new baby. Personal expectations on the kind of mother you want to be, compared to the mother you are.
Breastfeeding challenges, colicky baby, baby who will just not sleep at night, sleep deprivation, illness after birth, not limited to this, we can end up taking on too much emotional burden that contributes to PDD.
DO NOT WALK ALONE, support is very important, have a friend or two whom you talk to often, be raw and real with them, it helps if they have a child or children, because they will know how to hold your hand.
If your friend just gave birth, make it your mission to be there for them, call them often, if they don’t pick up your calls for a couple of day, show up. If you can join a group of other mothers who gave birth around the same time as you, do so, because they know the challenges of the journey, and though they may not have answers, they are perfect company and their mission is to make sure that you are all doing well.
Leave your house at least 20 minutes everyday and at least once a week go for an afternoon. Being away from your house helps centre you.
You are not alone, remember that.
There is a host of other mothers cheering you on and your victory is victory to motherhood, your squad has your back. There is no shame in having a hard time being a parent, even those with the best jobs have their down days.
- Finally Potty Trained
- The Bags That Feed Me
- I Took a Mama’s Break!!!
- Eczema: What’s there to know
- Picha Yangu Sauti Yangu
- The Passports Are Here!!!
- Getting a Passport for Your Child