This is why I am vocal about Postpartum Depression in Kenya

Hi.

My name is Samoina, and I am a Postpartum Depression survivor.

Have you heard about postpartum depression before? Postpartum Depression (abbreviated PPD) is one of several perinatal mood disorders that affects moms up to one year after birth. The precise cause of PPD remains unknown, but it is thought to be as a result of the sharp drop in hormonal levels. Ideally, during pregnancy, progesterone levels are at an all-time high. After birth, their levels plummet suddenly, leading to significant changes in the body.

This is not to be confused with baby blues, a mild and short-lived condition that affects a new mom’s moods and usually disappears on its own after about 2 weeks. Baby blues are characterized by exhaustion, moodiness, and worry, which to some extent, are normal as they develop during the transition from pregnancy to motherhood. If, however, these symptoms do not disappear, and instead get more intense as the days go by, there is cause for concern as this could point to PPD.

Some of the symptoms associated with PPD include intense anger, irritability, intrusive thoughts, confusion and the inability to bond with one’s child. Many moms also experience such deep despair and hopelessness that makes one feel like their existence as a mom is meaningless. The endless crying is also an indicator that all is not well. Other symptoms of PPD include feeling worthless, overwhelmed, and most of all scared to reach out. Most affected moms are scared to reach out because there is still so much stigma that surrounds Postpartum Depression and mental health in general.

But,

Aren’t moms supposed to enjoy this blissful period?

Doesn’t motherhood come naturally?

Which mother hates their child after carrying them for 9 months?

There must be a spiritual reason why you are suffering after getting your baby!

Do you know someone somewhere has it worse than you do? Can you just snap out of it!

….

 

Does this sound familiar? If it does, perhaps it is safe for me to say that these nuances are part of the reason many moms suffer in silence. I am vocal about it (I run a FB page here, do check it out, and Like, Like, Like) because I know just how much PPD takes away from a mom and from their child.

I am vocal about it because I look forward to a Kenya where maternal mental health will be a priority.

I am vocal because I thought I would get this information from hospital after delivery, but I did not (still so much to be done on this front).

I am vocal because right now, a mom somewhere is battling with postpartum depression. Statistics show that 1 in 7 moms is at risk of PPD. To bring this closer home, think of 7 of your friends who are moms, 1 is at risk. Isn’t this sobering enough?

I am vocal because I do not want these moms to go through the harrowing experience that PPD is, and I want them to get help as soon as possible

I am vocal because PPD took away the memories of my son’s first year, and all I am left with is a hazy collection of scattered snippets of motherhood, and I miss it, and I can never recover that..

I am vocal about PPD because there is still so much awareness to create, both online and offline, to get the conversations about mental health going.

Won’t you share this article and help get started on creating awareness of Postpartum Depression in Kenya?

 

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Gathoni,
      Thank you so much for reading and for shraing your comment 🙂 such feedback gives me so much life, because I know one story can speak for many moms. and it is beautiful. Looking to read your entry too.

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