Is there really any joy the supercedes the joy of being a mother? The days and weeks after baby comes, family and friends gather around and rally round. And although you're fatigued and sleep deprived, you're still extremely happy and grateful.
But for a few it's the exact opposite. I saw my friend, at a time that was meant to be the most exciting and happiest in her life, become withdrawn, depressed, cranky and terribly unhappy. It was the strangest thing ever; for the past eight or nine months all she did was think/sleep/dream/pray baby. Now baby had arrived and she more or less wanted nothing to do with him. So much so that getting her to breastfeed was an ordeal that turned into a losing game which ushered in the bottle at a very very tender stage. Those closest noticed what was going on and secretly wouldn't leave the baby alone with her, not like she wanted to be around the baby anyways...
When I read stories of how a mother threw her week old baby for a window on the 8th floor, or the Chinese Mum that stabbed her baby 6 month old baby several times in the face with a pair of scissors, or mothers that just seem to lose their zeal to live after a baby, I wonder how it could be, how cold hearted and unfeeling these women could be, I begin to curse them out but then I remember post partum (post-natal) depression is real and in some cases extreme. Could that, maybe, be what these mothers are suffering from?
I think this is something that isn't talked about much in this part of the world. I was surprised to hear someone here in Lagos actually say how much she loved her baby, but how terribly depressed she was after she had him, because most people never talk about these things.
In a country that tends to over spiritualize things, the need to restrain ourselves from doing that cannot be overstated. 1 in 8 women is said to suffer from PPD and if untreated could lead to mental instability.
Is this something you or someone you know has dealt with? Please share with us and also enlighten us, how long did you feel the way you did and what helped you get out of that dark place?
Thanks for sharing!
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