Treating Moms, Protecting Babies

Treating-Moms-Protecting-BabiesCatching pre-and post-natal depression early saves more than one life.

The minute that tiny baby lands in your arms you are only supposed to feel joy, or so you’re told.

Having a baby can be difficult and challenging. It’s hard to admit to feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and afraid. These feelings are common — so why is there a code of silence?

We don’t talk about it because depression makes us uncomfortable. There is a stigma around being a struggling mum. Yet women, especially first-time mothers, brave a gauntlet of life-changing events when they have a baby. A new mum loses her old identity and has to come to terms with a new one, relationships with friends and family change overnight and all this happens alongside other psychological and physical changes. It is a profound shift.

It’s essential for us to know and recognize the warning signs of pre- and post-natal depression. These might include apprehension about giving birth, feelings of guilt, fear of abandonment, incessant crying, a lack of energy, and worrying about being a good mother. Don’t dismiss these signs as being part of the normal hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, or the result of sleepless nights.

If you are a new mother or expecting a baby, it’s important for you to ignore notions of perfection; let things go, do more pleasurable activities, surround yourself with caring people. Talking to other pregnant women or mums of similar-age babies can beat back feelings of isolation and anxiety. Treat yourself as you would treat another new mum: with compassion, patience, generosity and a sense of humour. Above all, be honest with yourself, and seek help if you are struggling.

Psychologist Dr. Quratulain Zaidi

About The Author

Central Minds

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