Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth which can affect both sexes.
However excited you are to finally get to know that tiny newborn that you fantasized about throughout your pregnancy, having a baby is a life-changing event that changes your world.
Coping with roller-coaster hormones and lack of sleep, it’s no surprise that many moms feel overwhelmed and less than ecstatic about this new phase of life shortly after giving birth — experiencing a bout of the so-called “baby blues.”
For some mums, however, those feelings linger and become worse rather than better, developing into what’s known as postpartum depression. PPD is more common than you might think, occurring in about one in nine new moms.
Symptoms may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, crying episodes, and irritability.
For first time moms, what does it feel like to have it? What are the signs or symptoms? If you do have it, what should you do? Mama-of-boys, Cynthia Okpala‘s experience will help you understand these better.
The mom-of-two, on an episode of Moments with Mo said she experienced PPD after the birth of both children.
Below is her narration…
”I had an easy pregnancy with both pregnancies. The first one, just like first time moms, I had the regular worry of what its going to be like. I’ve always been afraid of the whole birthing process itself.
During one of the prenatals, a nurse said, you would get tired of being pregnant that you would look forward to the pain of labour. As the pregnancy progressed, I started looking forward to labour.
I was going to have my baby in the US, so I started reading about water birth and things that you could do because I wanted to have a natural birth. Then, into the ninth month, I had gotten a midwife and registered at a birthing centre.
Sometimes around 36weeks, I had gone for a scan and they found out that the baby was breached, so at that point of pregnancy, it was dangerous because the baby is big and there is no room for him to move around. So, I was sent to one Chinese place to help get the baby turn and he turned.
So, at 40 weeks, my water broke and when I got to the hospital, they found out he was breeched again, so, a c-section was the next thing. But I was mentally prepared for it.
So, I had the c-section and the baby was out in ten minutes, and then I was waiting to have the mushy feeling but I didn’t feel anything.
Even when I started breastfeeding, I didn’t feel anything. There was no particular attachment to the child. When we got back from the hospital, I just felt like, I can’t do this, this is too much.
Normally, I am a very energetic person but I just felt like not doing anything. When ever my baby is being handed to me when he’s crying, I’m just like, ‘when are we going to get to the end of this?’See Also
So, at that time, I felt like it was the pressure of just having a baby without having your mum around. You know in Nigeria, you’ll always have your family, so I wasn’t feeling the whole set up. I had to do everything myself, cook, take care of him and I wasn’t sleeping enough. I just didn’t enjoy that whole experience with my first son.
It was with my second child that I realised this might actually be a thing. I found out I was pregnant with the second one when the first one was nine months, so, my husband said maybe we should plan going to the US and I said, ‘no, I don’t want to throw the baby in the river.’
We actually laughed about it but when I thought about it again, I realised it might actually happen, when I remembered what I had gone through with first. The emotion was so strong and I felt like ‘why are you here ruining my life like I cant understand why you are crying so much.’
I actually remember a particular incidence, it was like 4am in the morning, I hadn’t slept, I hadn’t eaten and the baby was just crying. I just looked at him and I think he was like a week old.
I carried him and shook him and then he stopped crying because he was startled and then he started crying again and instantly, I felt like, ‘what did you do?’ and that was when I realised something was wrong.”