“This too shall pass; this too shall pass” a wanderer once used to hum all the time. We are always being reminded of this fact that whenever we are found in any state, be it in our highs or lows, or ups and downs; nothing lasts forever.
Postpartum depression is one of them too. Also known as PPD, it is now an acknowledged term in the medical sciences which is becoming a dreadful experience for many especially for the working parents, who find it awfully tricky and overwhelming. It is said that once a Bedouin with his band of sheep on asking shelter for a single night was preferred over a woman with her few munchkins. Is it so terrifying to shelter babies?
Not all parents are same as a person after having a baby as they used to be. Looking at the way how children are so subtly receptive to their surroundings in today’s digital era, one has to have some mastery over whole new set of skills, upgrade one’s physical, emotional and psychological well being to create a bond and nurture kids well. Indeed, it is a challenging struggle for new parents but for some it can lead to postpartum depression. If not taken well care of, PPD may develop into a severe depression later on in one’s life. 1 in 7 women go through PPD, while others without even realising it, studies have revealed. Not to be surprised, but even men have been reporting it too and feeling the same level of PPD. Professional parents sometimes, who look best right away without showing symptoms of any cause or concern externally; the ones who come off as good and strong have been found to be the worst victims of PPD when researchers dug into their parental lives. Even prenatal anxieties can lead to PPD eventually, if not taken care of.
Sometimes, having just a small support system, and by constant faithful prayers can make a huge difference instead of impatiently relying over unnecessary medicines straight away at the first instance. Having a better or improving one’s understanding with a partner can play a vital role. But both need to acknowledge this first. Suffering from pre-natal anxieties can have a severe impact on baby’s emotional, physical and mental well being which we often knowingly ignore.
Self-care or say post natal yoga for instance. It is a fact that exercising releases certain hormones in the body which make us feel better, fight with depression and thus lessen the chances of sufferings all in all. Those who do not want their mental health to affect their work-life often rely on private counselling. But not all can afford to. Those looking for peer support which doesn’t seem to be an ideal choice as the way mental illness is treated among the peers who tend to expose and ask too much or completely ignore may degrade one’s condition to worst.
So, self awareness is the ultimate key. PPD can hit anyone, anywhere. If we all can educate ourselves and others, conduct events at our workplaces and address such issues irrespective of our age or gender, and bust the misconceptions around parental leave and PPD. We will be able to create a world full of compassion. Let’s be prepared and committed and consider it as a worthwhile investment for those you genuinely care about. Nevertheless, this too, shall pass as well.
Author is a student of Social Sciences and Humanities at Ambedkar University, Delhi and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.