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Mothers health

  1. #1
    keninhk is offline Registered User
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    Mothers health

    Like to get some 1st hand experience from the mums here, what their husband did to keep spirits up after childbirth?

    Did anyone experience post-natal depression? What helped/didn't help from the immediate family members in the first few months?

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile

  2. #2
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    if it's bad, seek a doctor's help.

  3. #3
    Gemma is offline Registered User
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    I didn't appreciate having too many people in the flat, too much advice and different opinions.

    Basically any kind of help from hubby ( night feeds, diapers, massage, cup of tea) was much appreciated, so I could maximize on sleep. The first few weeks you just concentrate in sleep, feeding baby, eat.

    I basically run the house so if someone took care of the mail, bills, meals etc that helped a lot too. My hubby also kept encouraging me, telling me what a great job I'm doing, which was nice.

  4. #4
    keninhk is offline Registered User
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    Heard the hormonal drop is a major difference between pre and post birth, not expecting too much trouble from ours, but as we are getting really close now I'd thought I better start on researching on this issue for the wife's recovery.

    Thanks for your comments!

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile

  5. #5
    charade is offline Registered User
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    Just wanted to share my experience. I didn't go through full-fledged depression, but probably what might be classified as "blues". The hormonal changes would have been part of it, but also simple fatigue, worry for my baby's health, anxiety related to breastfeeding and frustration that my husband did not seem to understand my fears played a big role in my mental state at that time. My husband said I reminded him of his pet cat who had littered in a cupboard and kept pacing up and down in front of it hissing and growling at anyone that came near.

    In the public hospital system they are quite careful about post-partum depression. There are videos on it running on a loop in the ward to raise awareness, and at follow-up check-ups they talk to the mum and refer her to specialised care if needed.

    The first three months after a baby is born are really challenging, especially if the baby has colic or some other issues. As a husband, you can try and be supportive by pitching in with the physical work as much as possible - the docs at my check-ups constantly reiterated to me and my husband that my job was to breastfeed and his and my helper's were to do handle everything else and to my husband's credit, he really did his best. But the fact is that breastfeeding on its own for many women is really more challenging than everything else and the anxieties a new mum face sometimes seem to be such that only the mum can understand them. It can get to be a very lonely time. I also understand that from the husband's perspective it can get tiring too - to do your best but yet have to deal with the waterworks and your wife's fragile emotions.

    I also think that it's important to have as many helping hand as possible so share the workload but to ensure that these helping hands are people the new mum is really comfortable with. I had my mum over for a couple of months, my mother-in-law would have been a big no-no.
    TNT, shwetakhanna and carang like this.

  6. #6
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    Hi KeninHK,

    I really want to make something very clear--that if you are dealing with true post-partum depression it will be a lot more than just "keeping mother's spirits up" after birth. Post-partum depression has an actual hormonal, physiological as well as psychological root. It's not just someone who is "down in the dumps" or "needs a bit of cheering up." Often those types of mindsets are more harmful than helpful and unfortunately they're all too common.

    Let me share my experience. My son was born at the end of 2007 in the States. The birth was a bit traumatic as I lost a lot of blood and could have died. It was a natural childbirth with no pain killers or other drugs. It was my first birth--my mother never had any complications in childbirth and neither had any of my female relatives so there was no reason for me to expect I would either. Within two days after the birth I was an emotional basket-case. Not only was I physically in a lot of pain and anguish (my legs were so swollen I couldn't walk--from IV fluid, I couldn't stand up for several days after the birth due to blood loss, my resting heartrate was 145 beats/minute, my hips were out of place and I couldn't walk straight, my lower back was herniated, I had large amounts of bruising and many, many stitches) mentally I was losing it. My baby cried all day and night and I just couldn't cope. My husband is very mellow and just kept telling himself and me that things would be okay--that he was strong enough to support me. In the first 4 days of my sons life I slept a total of 6 hours and not all at once--in 1-2 hour segments. I was delirious and this was only the beginning of what I was going to go through.

    Well, we came back to Hong Kong and I was going to give the Stay-at-Home-Mom thing a go. My husband was away 12+ hours/day working in Mainland China (crossing the border twice/day and traveling for many hours). I was left at home, very isolated with serious back problems and the "baby blues." I really wanted to die. It was all I could do in a day to roll out of bed (literally, as because of a herniated disc in my back I couldn't stand up straight--at points I could only crawl on my hands and knees across our hard tile floor) and tend to the baby. Breastfeeding was a nightmare and I felt like a complete failure. I felt like my life was over. At times I had fantasies of jumping out of windows. But, still, my husband kept telling himself that we would be okay.

    Then, I left my husband. I reached a breaking point where I really couldn't cope anymore and I left for about 10 days. I left him with the baby and didn't really know if I'd ever come back. I was in a world of pain and misery with a very cloudy and depressed mind. When I did come back he got down on his knees and apologized to me saying, "I was wrong. I thought I was enough. I thought I was strong enough. I thought I could fix this problem and help you and fix you. I can't." He went out the very same day and found a local woman to come and be a helper for us. She would come at 10 am every morning and stay until 5 pm. What did I do during that time? I crawled into bed and slept. At least the baby was well-taken care of and safe. The only cure for what was wrong with me was lots and lots and lots of rest. I slept like this for about four months. Needless to say, I don't remember much of that time. It is sad but I know that if I hadn't had done that it the outcome could have been much worse for my child, myself and my husband.

    So, the best thing you can do is know the signs of post-partum depression and do your best to be watchful and intervene as soon as you can. It's nothing to mess around with. It's not just a "touch of the baby blues"--left untreated it can be absolutely devastating and even deadly. It took me almost a full 2 years before I could say I was "recovered" from PPD.

    As far as what you can "expect" with hormonal drops--you will not know until you cross that bridge. Post-partum depression doesn't always have "early warning signs"--a woman who you'd least expect to suffer from it often gets it the worst. So, basically, be cautious.

    I agree that doing everything in your power to provide your wife with rest and support is probably the wisest decision you can make. Make sure she is well-fed, well listened-to and cared for. This still doesn't guarantee that everything will go off without a hitch. I pray that she doesn't have to go through the type of thing that I and many other women have experienced but if she does it is very, very common. It is nothing to be ashamed of and remember whatever you keep in darkness will have power over you so bring everything into the light and be ready to get the right type of people involved if needed (nurses, doctors, friends, psychologists, nutritionists etc.).

    And the last thing I want to add--whatever you do, don't expect your wife to just "bounce back" from birth--and don't let her expect that from herself either. If that's how it happens, great. But the best plan is to take it extra easy after birth for as long as possible.

    All the best to you!
    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  7. #7
    Junebugwhite is offline Registered User
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    I would say the thing that helped the most was to go and see a therapist, get diagnosed with PPD and then went on some meds for a few months. I don't know that the meds really helped, or if it was just the passing of time. I cried all the time for about 5 months before I decided to see someone. My lactation consultant kept encouraging me to go, but I was stubborn. My husband just could not grasp PPD, kept saying I just needed a kick in the ass, so he was not able to offer any useful support. It was more than just baby blues and hormones. I moved while 7 months pregnant, gave birth here and had no family or friends for support, so just a lot of adjustments at once.
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  8. #8
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by keninhk View Post
    Like to get some 1st hand experience from the mums here, what their husband did to keep spirits up after childbirth?

    Did anyone experience post-natal depression? What helped/didn't help from the immediate family members in the first few months?

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using GeoClicks Mobile
    Does your wife's family have any history of PPD? My mother suffered a serious case of it after having me, so I was especially on guard after I had my child. Being supportive and hands-on with the baby is the best thing a husband can do, but if you see any signs of depression such as insomnia, anxiety, or an overall sense of removal, then I would contact the doctor.

    If your wife plans to breastfeed, be supportive of this decision and get educated on the process. Breastfeeding can be a difficult journey and it was a source of PPD for my mother since she was not successful with it. Also make sure to get other family members on board with your wife's decision to breastfeed. Anything related to household chores, cooking or planning meals should be taken care of for your wife for the first few weeks so she can focus on bonding and caring for the baby.

    Good luck, and enjoy welcoming your little baby into the world!
    charade likes this.

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