This first appeared in The Standard on 30 October 2016
As much as it is difficult to hear that a mother can harm her child, we hear that news at least once every year. This unfortunate situation happens for so many reasons but severe Postpartum Depression (PPD) is the most common.
PPD usually happens within the first few months of having a baby. It is a very common problem and many mothers suffer the mild depression for a few days after giving birth but 15 to 20% of mothers experience severe PPD that might require medical attention. Previous depression history or stressful situations such as financial problem or lack of support can be some of the reasons behind PPD.
Here are some symptoms of PPD
- Sleep and appetite disturbance
- Difficulty bonding with the baby – lack of interest in caring for the baby
- Mood swings – easily agitated and angry
- Crying for no reason
- Feeling anxious about everything
- Sadness and guiltiness for feeling this way
- Having thoughts of harming yourself or the baby – suicidal thoughts
As a mother with PPD it is hard to be excited about your new baby while others around you are and might even feel guilty for not feeling as such. Hence, you will be reluctant to share your feelings with people who expect you to be joyful. This will lead to more problems when it is left untreated. That is why partners and close family members need to pay attention and help them seek the necessary help. PPD is a common problem and it is treatable. If you or another mother you know have been feeling this way for more than a week, seek medical help immediately.