NOBODY talks about post-partum depression. Everybody brushes it aside as the new mum just having the blues. Itâ€™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.
â€œItâ€™s because of the sudden withdrawal of hormones. One moment you had too much (when you were pregnant) and suddenly itâ€™s too little (after giving birth).
â€œThere are the worries and anxieties that play on their minds as well â€“ do they have enough money, can they be a good mother, do they have enough milk.
â€œAnd of course theyâ€™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,â€ says Dr Nor Ashikin.
Itâ€™s bad enough that the new mother is depressed but chances are sheâ€™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 itâ€™s very serious. Dr Nor Ashikin advises those who may be suffering from it to immediately consult a doctor.