Pregnancy is an overwhelming ride. Once you finally hold a bundle of joy in your hands, the story doesn’t end there. Another challenge awaits you- Postpartum Period. It is a stage in a mother’s life with lots of physical and emotional changes. It is not as easy as they show in movies and TV. Some mothers are unable to form an instant connection with their babies. Usually, baby blues or postpartum depression kicks in during this time. Believe me, getting someone out of this miserable state and creating awareness about it was not easy for me.
Here’s what happened…
Last year, my sister-in-law delivered a beautiful boy. The whole family was going gaga over him.
In midst of excitement, celebrations and taking care of a newborn, we generally neglect the mother’s toil.
It’s not only about physical stress as it does become emotionally challenging when you have sleepless nights, metabolism changes and get wholesome responsibility for upbringing a new life.
I could see my sister-in-law struggling in her initial days. She looked nothing less than a mess. I could sense anxiety, fatigue and hypersensitivity in her voice. Nothing would cheer her up. She would always complain feeling sick to the stomach and racy heartbeats.
She used to get answers like “It’s normal” “Take some rest. You might be up for long” “You are not taking a healthy diet”
With each passing day, the situation seemed worse and didn’t seem normal. It was a high time to ask her if she was really fine.
One day, on our regular coffee session, I held her hand and asked how she was feeling. She looked into my eyes and broke down. I had never seen her so vulnerable and sorry.
No, she wasn’t fine. She needed help.
She shared that she was feeling emotionally disconnected with her little one. Sadness and guilt were consuming her thoughts. All she could do was feed and make him sleep.
“While everyone else is bonding with my child, I just want to walk out the door and never come back” were her exact words.
My consoling didn’t help her much. She just kept crying. It was high time for her to seek help.
I could connect the dots and was quite apprehensive that she was in postpartum depression state. I googled it and the mentioned symptoms matched with her condition.
It wasn’t easy for our family members, especially the elder ones to understand it.
“What? We haven’t seen or heard about it. It is just another fabricated disease by doctors to earn money.”
But the priority was to keep her mentally and physically fi.t So, such comments were ignored.
I decided to accompany in her upcoming doctor’s appointment and urged her to share what was bothering her. She took time to express herself. Those were intense twenty minutes. The doctor heard her out. And yes, the doctor concluded it to be postpartum depression.
Her gynaecologist and psychologist explained how a dramatic drop in hormones contribute to this depression. The baby blues period was making her presume that she was not doing a great job as a mother.
As soon as we left the doctor’s cabin and the door closed, she hugged me tightly. It was one of the few moments which I will never forget in my life. My shoulder still feels wet with her tears.
I was so glad that I had a brief clue about the problem which was probably going to be overlooked. Medicines, Yoga and support from a nanny really helped her to recover in no time. After few weeks, it was like a switch being flicked. She was coming back to normal. I could see enthusiasm and spirit kicking back.
Only a healthy mother can raise a healthy child. It wasn’t her fault that she was not feeling healthy and come aboard with the changes. It was her health and our obliviousness which was restricting her to do her best.
Taking help didn’t make her less of a mother. It’s so lovely to see her enjoying motherhood. She is no one less than a perfect loving mother who not only takes care of her kid but also an excellent homemaker. After looking at the change, the family members also understood the hardship.
Luckily, I knew about the syndrome but many people out there do not have any idea if such problem exists. Sadly, it can take a really bad shape if nothing is done during this painful dip.
Motherhood doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. If you are feeling overwhelmed as a mother, do not feel ashamed talking about it or getting help. This condition has nothing to do with your love for the child. It is just something wrong with your body.
I have a request- if you see any new mother on the edge, please ask her how she is feeling. It would mean a world to her. There are many women out there who are struggling in silence. Encourage her to share and seek help. You will make a mother enjoy more with her baby.
KADAM CHHOTA CHANGE BADA
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