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Let's talk Life

Published:Saturday | May 19, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Yvonnie Bailey- Davidson, Contributor

Illness after delivery

Dear counsellor,

I have been told about depression in mothers after delivery. Please explain.

- Lorraine

Dear Lorraine,

Many mothers become mildly depressed after the birth of their babies. These episodes of depression are called 'baby blues'. These episodes settle quickly with love, attention, and support.

New mothers need loving hands to help them look after the baby. Having a baby changes your life forever. You now have another human being to look after. Sometimes, mothers don't get a chance to sleep or to bond with the new infant. Grandma or sister sometimes pitches in and helps. New mothers want to feel that they are experts on babies and want to operate independent of others. This is a recipe for exhaustion and burn-out. Mothers need rest, food, and social interaction.

Some mothers develop severe depression and the mother may need admission to hospital under the care of a psychiatrist and obstetrician. Some mothers may have psychotic features and will need antipsychotic drugs. The mother may develop suicidal ideas or homicidal thoughts. The mother and infant are at risk, so supervision is very important. Some mothers have difficulty bonding with their infants and feel worthless and guilty.

Mothers need love and encouragement and practical help. The help of the spouse is priceless and is appreciated by the partner.

Stress-free

Dear counsellor,

I am feeling tired, irritable, and worn out. I have children, a full-time job, a car, a house, and a husband. I find it difficult to cope with so many things.

- Mary

Dear Mary,

You need to have a positive outlook and feel that all things are possible through Christ. You need to have a list of things to do for each day, week, month, and year. Only some things need to be done. You need to prioritise and budget your time so that you can accomplish some of the tasks. Don't let others load you up like a horse. You need to say no to some things. Your spouse and children can help with the chores at home. Less television during the week and all homework should be done in the evening. Try to eat as a family on the weekend and have devotions as often as you can. The family needs to feel as if all is well. Share time with each other. The children can help with the cooking and that can be viewed as time shared. As you can see, you have to put family and God first.

Email questions and feedback for Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson to yvonniebd@hotmail.com or call 978-8602.