Having a baby is never easy. It is a great responsibility that leads to months and years of work.
Few days after a woman gives birth, her hormones return to the same level it was before pregnancy.
This nose dive plus the mental stress involved in taking care of a baby increases the risk of developing postpartum depression.
According to World Health Organisation (W.H.O), 20% of women in developing countries experience postpartum depression after childbirth.
Certain things can increase the risks of developing postpartum depression; things such as limited social support, unsupportive hospital staff, financial problems, a history of depression in the family, and marital conflicts.
Finance is a big deal for most people in developing countries like Nigeria, they are usually concerned about how to take care of the baby, pay hospital bills or resume work.
For Titi, having a baby was one of the best things in the world, “I had enough money when my baby was born. I did not experience any sadness after having a baby.
“That night, my husband said I slept like I had just won a trophy. I had my family and colleagues around, so I didn’t feel lonely. I panicked a little at the idea nurturing a child.”
Speaking on the reason why most women experience postpartum depression, she says; Depression comes from sadness. Most new mothers are sad over some certain things that happen when having their baby or things they couldn’t achieve because of the baby, if the sadness lingers for long it leads to post partum depression.”
Postpartum depression affects both new mothers and fathers.
Symptoms of postpartum depression include; an overwhelming sense of sadness and crying all the time.
Having no strength and, feeling very tired all the time.
The feeling that you are not good enough to be someone’s mom or father, feeling unable to care for your baby or that your baby hates you.
Inability to bond with your child, feeling guilty because you feel like you do not like your newborn baby.
Loss of interest and enjoyment in activities you once enjoyed.
Withdrawing from friends and family.
Titi didn’t experience any of this; “Everything was perfect about having a baby, the sex, the beauty, the people around my mummy’s place, they were so happy for me.”
Once you have everything you desired after having a baby post partum depression is far from you.”
Instead of feeling ashamed of your feelings, talking to a doctor, mental health specialist or an understanding partner or friend would help you resolve these feelings.
Sometimes, putting these feelings under scrutiny can help you to resolve it.
Even though Jane was expecting her third baby to be a male child, but she ended up giving birth to a female child.
Despite the pressure from her husband and his family to have a male child, she remembers seeing the baby and being filled with so much joy and happiness.
Having family around to support you can easily drive away any negative feelings about having a baby.
After giving birth to her baby, Jane’s mother was there for here; “When I gave birth I didn’t experience any feeling of sadness because I liked being pampered and taken care of by my mom. I would always listen to music while I had the hot water bath. I liked those moments.”
But it is wasn’t all fun for Jane, “The only thing I didn’t like waking up to breastfeed. Yes, it altered my sleep pattern but that didn’t sadden me so much because during the day I made up for the sleepless nights.”
Finally, new parents should give themselves grace, learn on the job and reduce their expectations.
Some mothers and fathers feel like they should feel a rush of attachment to their child, and instead of just simply relating with the baby, they obsess over not feeling a certain way.