Mental disorders after childbirth are real – Mother shares her experience
37-year-old mother Akua Faah Adu shared the heartbreaking story of how the pain of childbirth caused her mental health problems.
Akua fell into depression after giving birth and was subsequently diagnosed with postpartum depression (PPD).
It started as a challenge with his memory. She sometimes unknowingly called the nurses she saw in the hospital by the names of teachers who taught her while she was in training college.
“Where we were staying, I could even go to the bathroom there without realizing that it wasn’t even the right place to go,” she recounted her experience at the mental hospital in an interview with Joy News.
âThey explained that it was because of the childbirth that the depression happened. At that time, I didn’t know I had a baby or anything like that. But when my mother comes, she came with a baby, âshe added.
Postpartum depression (PPD) continues to be one of the major maternal health problems around the world, but in Africa, data on women living with this disease is scarce. Although it is a major health problem for many women of various cultures, this condition often goes undiagnosed.
Clinical psychologist at 37 Military Hospital, Dr Erica Dickson explained to Joy News in an interview that PPD results from hormonal changes that occur in an individual, especially if that person has a family history of the disease.
Lack of family support could worsen the condition of women who suffer from PPD. Akua says she asked her husband on the day of the birth what outfit she should wear at the baby’s baptism or the outdoor ceremony, but her response made her state of mind worse.
“He told me what I’m wearing even then, I can use it for the baptismal ceremony. So that got me thinking and I started talking, saying all the things that happened. got into marriage and I couldn’t sleep or do anything, âshe told Joy News.
In an interview with Akua’s mother, she said, âI was so worried to see my daughter in this condition. At night, she would sometimes talk to each other about the bad things her husband had done to her during her pregnancy.
Akua’s family eventually took her to a prayer camp. Akua says that the time she spent in prayer camp was the most traumatic time of her life.
âI thought I was out of place there. So I have to go whenever I get the chance, I walk and I go and they start looking for me and then bring me back. So it came at a time when they had to put chains on my legs. It’s like you’re lost, âshe said.
Dr Erica Dickson warns that postpartum depression could also have negative implications for newborn health and well-being.
âIt is a serious problem because it affects not only the person who is not feeling well, but also the newborn baby.
âSo when this woman is unhappy, is in a very bad mood, has lost interest, doesn’t want to see her baby, etc. at all, âshe explained.
Dr Dickson says this condition could recur in subsequent pregnancies, and therefore family support is very crucial to ensure adequate recovery.
“It’s a risk factor because you’ve had it once and know that you have the predisposition and that you should therefore pay a little more attention so that the environment in which you are evolving in your pregnancy is more supportive, it is less stressful not to be pushed to the limit, âshe said.
She also believes that more awareness would help women suffering from the disease to see a doctor.
âThere is still a lot to do. Our midwives run pregnancy schools in different departments and this could be one of the topics infused into them. In our own establishment we started something like this and we hope to improve our game by educating on these things.
“So it’s just that the women haven’t had the opportunity, but a lot of them have experienced it and so I’m sure when the education comes out they will be able to identify with it.” , she said. .