Not just baby blues

NOBODY talks about post-partum depression. Everybody brushes it aside as the new mum just having the blues. It’ll pass, after all.

What happens when the baby blues do not go away after a few weeks?

Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, founder and executive chairman of the Primanora Medical Centre, explains that while it is normal for women to suffer post-partum blues after giving birth, it typically lasts only a few days. If it lasts a few weeks, then chances are the woman has post-partum depression.

“It’s because of the sudden withdrawal of hormones. One moment you had too much (when you were pregnant) and suddenly it’s too little (after giving birth).

“There are the worries and anxieties that play on their minds as well – do they have enough money, can they be a good mother, do they have enough milk.

“And of course they’re tired, fatigued and confused. All this can be stressful for some women, especially if they have a history of depression and not unusually, some single mothers as well. This is where they will need some medication,” says Dr Nor Ashikin.

It’s bad enough that the new mother is depressed but chances are she’ll also have to deal with a screaming baby, changes to her body, lots of helpful family members and guilt for feeling this way.

Women need not suffer in silence any more. Post-partum depression is very real and it’s very serious. Dr Nor Ashikin advises those who may be suffering from it to immediately consult a doctor.