Forced Lifestyle Changes, Increased Responsibility Triggering Post-Partum Depression

Postpartum Depression
Image used for representation only.

Child birth is certainly not child’s play. The physical pain not enough, most mothers are also increasingly falling prey to postpartum depression.

Coming to terms with the increased responsibility, change of lifestyle, staying away from work and the hormonal changes are all taking its toll on the mothers of today. In several cases, the woman may not be in a position to handle everything and tends to slip into a depressed state, say experts. 

Sharing their instances of experiencing and overcoming post-partum depression and mental stress are these women who firmly believe that childbirth is not a child’s play.

“Being in the blogging industry and staying in front of camera and public eye had affected my psychology related to child birth,” says a city-based lifestyle video blogger.

“Initially, it is okay to flaunt your baby bump, have photo shoots and a maternity clothing haul, but social media isn’t the reality.

Post childbirth, I almost instantly wanted to be back to my original shape. How much every I loved being pregnant, I didn’t enjoy being sleepless all the time, having that unbearable pain in my chest, having physical difficulties etc.

All this however led to a lot of anxiety and mental stress, so much so that I would cry throughout the night.

“Childbirth is the most wonderful thing in the birth, but people shouldn’t under estimate the suffering of a mother pre and post birth. There have been instances where women have died because of the unbearable pain and sufferings related to it.

I believe post-childbirth trauma care is the most important thing to take care off and  emotional support from family helps a lot,” she adds.

Harleen Kaur, a home tutor shares that the mental pressure and disturbances that one faces can extend to a couple of years.

“Post my delivery, all I could ever think of was to lose some pounds and be a fit mommy.  In my Punjabi family, no one realised that it is not over-eating but eating-right that needed to be done.

Hence as a gesture of love, they fed me all types of fats and sweets that added to my weight. I was advised by doctors to lose weight even during my pregnancy. However, all that went in vain. I had a caesarean and felt horrible, possible since I was a first time mother. Period like cramps that lasted for weeks aded to my agony.

“I think I was at a very sensitive stage where even a loud voice triggered tears. My husband was not to support me throughout (since he was sailing) and made me a mental wreck.

I resorted to yoga and meditation and a couple of exercises that my psychiatrist friend suggested to me. All that did help, but even after three years I feel that with that pregnancy weight, I lost my confidence too.

Even today, I break down looking at those old pictures and it is just my child that reassures me that all the suffering didn’t go in vain,” adds Kaur.

“Not everyone plans a child and I was one of them. Pregnancy came to be as a shocker more than a sweet surprise,” says Neha Raghav Rao, a corporate employee.

“I wanted us to enjoy our marriage for a couple of years before taking responsibilities; people had to convince me to keep the child. It was evident that this was affecting my psychology.

“Predictably, I was diagnosed with clinical depression which many in my family addressed as ‘running away from bringing up a child’. Once I knew he was my responsibility, I took it with open arms but was terrified of not doing it right.

Sleeping in a sitting position, waking up at odd hours, having to quit my lifestyle, skipping going out to meet the doctor etc. was all affecting me.

For immediate stress relief I was put on mild medications and later also with counselling and therapies. Juggling through my job stress, increased monetary dependency, family expectations, and no personal space all felt like I was being eaten into.

I think it took me more than seven months to feel good mentally and come to terms with  all the sudden changes that happened in my life,” adds Rao.

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Loveleen Kaur

Loveleen Kaur

She loves travelling, dogs, sarcasm, humour and anything that spells F O O D, in that order. A writer on a journey to make positive stories a morning ritual and give society what it needs the most - optimism !!

Reach her at loveleen@pune365.com or tweet @KaurKaur18
Loveleen Kaur

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