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Post Partum depression-The signs and symptoms

I thought after having a baby I would be over the moon. The joy of having successfully “manufactured” a fellow human being. I thought I would be all smiles and singing in the bathroom. All the lullabies I used to practice when pregnant in readiness of my bundle of joy would have been on trial. Unfortunately, it did not happen.

I had a good support system. From delivery room, I remember my mom in law coming in to rub my back while praying to the angels to intervene (have never forgotten), to my hubby telling that am doing fine, to my mom saying I will do It. It was all good. Though a difficult delivery (story for another day) I was able to deliver normally.

The problem started that night. I had to go to the theatre, and after two hours, I was completely numb from the waist to the feet. I couldn’t move.  So the nurse brought me the baby so that I could breastfeed her. This is where disappointment began. I didn’t produce any milk!!!!It hit me that am a failure. How could I fail my baby on the first day! I just started on the wrong foot. She started crying of hunger. Am there helpless. The nurses kept telling to allow the baby to stimulate so the milk could come out but it didn’t.  Finally, one of them took the baby and fed her on formula. Sorted for the moment. That night I couldn’t sleep with her. I was bleeding heavily, and was completely weak. I couldn’t even switch positions coz I was still numb. So I requested the nurse to take the baby to nursery for the night. I couldn’t have handled her. They gladly accepted. But deep inside I felt terrible.  I felt like a bad mom.  Who gives up on a baby on the first day? I felt guilty of letting my baby down.

In the morning I was a bit strong. After breakfast the nurse brought my baby back from the nursery. I was so excited! I thought I could have milk but unfortunately it was a completely dry. Seeing my baby working too hard to suckle while nothing is coming out was devastating. For the first three day my baby depended on formula. I felt feel worthless. The nurse kept insisting that I will not be discharged until I produced milk otherwise my baby would have jaundice. This made me feel more stressed. Day four the milk was here. YAAAAAS! FINALLY! Lots of it. But I had cracked nipples….you know how you feel when the baby is awake and you have to feed her while squashing your teeth against each other as you lift one leg up coz of the pain. YES! That was me the first week. The other issue was adjusting my sleeping patterns. I couldn’t sleep. I felt the obligation to look at my baby while she was sleeping. I had nightmares of someone snatching my baby. Lots of panic mode and anxiety. It was just crazy.

So I would lock myself in the bedroom, cry myself out. The most irritating thing was to hear a knock on my door. The sight of my mom-in-law with unending flasks of hot fluids, fruits, juices and food was disgusting! (She is so sweet and kind).  I remember her bringing more salt for more for saline baths to heal the stitches fast. I cried! I used to pour my unfinished drinks in the sink not to frustrate her efforts.or force my husband to drink some.I FELT OVERWHELMED. This motherhood thing was too much! In short, everything and anything was irritating and annoying. I almost pinched my baby coz of crying. Luckily my husband was quick to notice that I was going through Post-Partum Depression (PPD) and he offered a lot of support.

So what are some of the signs of PPD?

  1. Guilt- You feel like a bad mom. Mom…you are doing good. There is no perfect mom out here! We are all working progress.
  2. Overwhelmed- This motherhood this is not easy especially for first time moms. Baby crying, changing diapers, sleeping…Its too much. In fact you feel like you cannot handle it. You want to run away or give someone some responsibility!
  3. Confused- You haven’t understood your baby yet. When they cry you don’t know what to do. Is she hungry, is she upset, is she sleepy. You don’t know how to react to different situations. Plus everyone giving advice on anything and everything. You no longer know who to follow.
  4. Quick to anger- Everything is annoying and irritating. You can’t stand it.
  5. Anxiety- Constant worry of your baby’s wellness. Is she still breathing? What if she covers herself and suffocates while am sleeping?
  6. Sadness- OOOOH YES! You thought of smiling. You feel sad deep inside. You eel as a failure especially when you don’t meet your baby’s need.
  7. Emptiness- You feel worthless. This can actually be suicidal! The feeling of hopelessness!
  8. Insomnia- you can’t sleep well coz of anxiety and stress
  9. Not bonding with the baby- You just cannot connect with your baby. Some people even hate to hold their own baby. This happens especially if the pregnancy was unwanted. Or if the baby daddy left.
  10. Crying- This was me. Crying all the time and wearing a plastic smile when someone else is around. It makes one feel better though.
  11. Avoiding visitors- People still think I was at my mom-in-laws house for three months! I didn’t want to see anybody.

There you have it moms. If you realize that you or your friend or family is going through at least 5 of these symptoms for more than five days, you need to step in and help. PPD is so real and can be suicidal. Did you experience PPD? What do you do when you noticed that you have PPD? Share your story in the comments below. Any pregnant mom is at of risk of PPD. Share this with your fellow moms. Solutions of PPD in the next post. Like our face book page below not to miss such awesome things!

See also how to manage memory loss after childbirth

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