“I recall this very night, when my baby again shouted because it was milk time. I managed with pain to get out of bed because of my cesarean wound, fighting against my exhaustion and I took him out of his bed. But suddenly he did not look like a baby, it was like an alien, with a widely open mouth and I got scared. I got scared of him, of myself, of how he would make me bleed whilst breastfeeding him”.
This 5 seconds image has impacted me, deeply, and I still recall it very neatly, because this is the very moment where I noticed I could start falling quickly into Post Partum Depression.
I felt useless, tired, guilty, empty and had absolutely no self-confidence. I could not face my baby or even enjoy taking care of him…But I have been lucky, very lucky because I knew about it and I had the unlimited support of my mother who is a pediatric specialized in PPD.
With approximately 1 woman out of 10 touched by DPN, it is important to know about it. Postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, is a type of clinical depression which can affect women and less frequently men, typically after childbirth and during the first year of the child.
Against all odds and common confusion, it has nothing to do with Baby Blues.
I have a dream, a dream
- that women will not suffer any more in silence when becoming mothers
- that mums to be will be told and retold that it is normal not to know and to feel lost
- that other women who seem to be having the time of their life might be not enjoying it that much and will confess it openly
- that each of us will know that maternity can be a nightmare
- that it is alright not to love at first sight our kids
- that every single mum will be able to open up her heart about the difficulties she encounters to others mums or mums to be
- that as a mum, we are not responsible for everything that happens to our new borns
- that everyone will stop judging every single movement of mothers
- that others will stop making us feeling guilty if we dare to say we are not happy just after giving birth or just about having kids
- that whatever way we chose to feed our kids, no one will tell us off about it: bottle milks, breastfeeding, as long as it is the way we feel at ease
- that hospital staff will be trained in how to prevent, diagnose and accompany new mothers with empathy
- that our society will stop pretending perfect mums exist
Finally I get around writing on this topic which has motivated most of the initiative of The FreeMe Project.
I too often feel that as women, we ourselves contribute to treating Post Natal Depression as something weird and exceptional because of our silence, because of our own shame of not being the ideal mother.
I believe that being a mother means assuming a responsibility inside the group of women…it means being honest and not falling unconsciously into this general amnesia that rules maternity…We need to speak out loud and get free on this topic.
If you want to know more about it, I have discovered some years ago the wonderful work done by the French Association Maman Blues
And if you have not seen it and want to understand what it is like, watch this movie: L’Etranger en moi.
There will be more about this topic. It is so important!