Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How I Coped With PPD

As March dawned memories came flashing back .It was as if yesterday that I had endured the nerve-jangling experience. I still picture that moment so vividly.Six years ago precisely, I was expecting my fourth child and during my routine check up at the hospital, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard my gynaecologist say to me, ,“You have to prepare for a c-section”, .I started to panic as I had presupposed it was going to be a normal delivery. Prior to the doctor’s assertion, I had politely declined mother’s suggestion about delivering the baby back in the native land, basically because my daughters would miss three months of school work if I had accepted her proposition.

Than came the due date...I did all right delivering my fourth baby, a healthy baby boy (a play mate for my older son, who was three that time.). It was the first time that I experienced the trials and tribulations of bringing up a newborn without any womenfolk around for help. It was my husband and I taking turns and doing the chores together. I was exultant at my own approach in handling the situation at ease.

Everything was going on effortlessly, when after a few days, out of the blue something took over me. It was progressively creeping into my system.That was something atypical. Those fleeting thoughts seemed insignificant but I chose to hang onto them.At that time it didn’t become apparent that it was my hormones doing the jig, owing to the bodily changes in me. Initially my husband and I assumed it was due to being stressed out because of the sleepless nights that followed after the baby’s birth. Before long I realised it was due to high levels of anxiety and hence decided to discuss this over with someone who was well-informed in this subject and seek medical advice promptly.

Coming back to normalcy after this stressful experience, I turned to various informative resources to learn more about this condition that some women encounter during the phase of motherhood. Post partum depression or PPD is a common hitch in new mothers. New moms should always get additional help—someone to lend a hand with the chores around the house and someone to watch the baby while she gets some much-needed rest.

Unfortunately, most women overlook the symptoms of PPD. Some distinctive symptoms of PPD are trouble sleeping through the night, mood swings, difficulty in being focussed and loss of interest in activities which you had earlier enjoyed with your older children. Antidepressants play a vital part in the healing process but it should be taken only if advised by the doctor. Regrettably, women with PPD, feel embarrassed to talk this over with family/friends. It is advisable to get prompt medical attention if mood swings go beyond a month or so after childbirth.

I have been fortunate to have encountered PPD no more than moderately and have completely got over it with therapeutic assistance. I am ever thankful to the Almighty for being by my side to protect me and my loved ones from any calamity. As I reminisce the years gone by, I feel at ease for not letting the PPD take control of my life totally, I am appreciative - to all my loved ones’ intervention. Their constant support and encouragement helped me muddled through this condition with a brave outlook.

I am relieved that I was able to alleviate myself from the clutches of prolonged PPD sooner than expected and thus have gathered courage to get going and cope life’s challenges optimistically.