Monday, September 29, 2008

Got the blues?

Yes, I did get the baby blues 4 years ago after I gave birth to my 1st child. I got it from the 2nd day after my son was born up to a week afterward. I got so frustrated, irritated, exhausted, and felt sad most of the time. I even cried every night for a week. Thank God I had such wonderful midwife and friends who were willing to go extra miles to save me from going into deep depression, and of course, the Plunket nurses were always available to pick up my midnight calls and talked to me about anything just to make me feel better.

Oh well, who wouldn't get baby blues if you were in my situation at that time. I was in my final year facing my last final examination when I had to give birth just a day before my final exam. I was a first time mother, knew nothing about motherhood and breastfeeding, all alone in a foreign land thousand miles away from my husband and family, haven't had a good night sleep for weeks because I studied hard to prepare for my final exam and never expected that the baby would come 2 weeks earlier. On top of that, I had to pack and to prepare all by myself to go back to Malaysia for good. I really had no time to rest physically and mentally. I never knew that having a baby was such a stressful experience not only because I had no experience at all, but also because of the hormonal upheaval that occurred in my body.

The blues hit me so hard it made me cried every night and felt so helpless and lonely. I felt sad all the time I found myself begging my newborn to give me a chance to rest and to sleep. I needed someone to talk to but not easy to find someone available and who was willing to listen to my woes. Even the people very close to me just couldn't understand why I cried all the time when I should be happy with the presence of my baby. Not everyone can understand about the baby blues especially if you never give birth before. They may think that it is just an excuse for first time mother especially, to cover up her inability to take care her newborn. So, instead of getting support that she needs it the most, she gets more difficult challenges to deal with these people who don't understand what she is going through. She'll feel even down and she can go into deep depression.

I read an article about baby blues written by DR Nor Ashikin Mokhtar in the Star newspaper. You can read the full article here:
Do read the full article, especially for those who never give birth because it contains very good information on emotional reactions after giving birth.

According to the article, there are 3 types of emotional reactions to childbirth:
  1. Postpartum Blues or Baby blues
  2. Postnatal Depression
  3. Puerperal Psychosis (the most serious postpartum emotional condition)
It is very important for mother who suffers from any of these emotional reactions to get full support emotionally and physically from her support persons, her family, and her friends.

Since I have experienced baby blues before, during my 2nd pregnancy my ob/gyn and his staff had to monitor my mental state throughout the pregnancy until after I gave birth to my 2nd child. They had to make sure that I had enough rest and they also informed my support person (my husband in this case) about the blues and asked him to give his full support so that I wouldn't get postnatal depression or even worst the puerperal psychosis.

So, my husband did anything he could to support me until I gave a green light for him to leave me when his duty called. I felt so much better on my 2nd childbirth because I already know what to do and what to expect when my baby is born. I've learned many tricks to handle my newborn as well. I don't think I experience baby blues this time but unfortunately, there is another type of blues I experience though; it's the maid blues, which is caused know who...Gosh!! She's been nothing but trouble to me... : (

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