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Postnatal Depression - A Personal Account


When I gave birth over four years ago, I did not realize how creating a human could affect me. After a difficult pregnancy with severe migraine attacks, our daughter was born through caesarean. She was breech, so I refused to deliver her naturally. I had read every book and bought all the supplies needed to be great parents, foolishly this made me believe I was prepared for motherhood. Surely nothing else after my difficult pregnancy could go wrong?.....


I was mistaken.


I remember being so afraid of my small newborn daughter. How was “I” allowed to even care for her?I wished that someone would take her away. It was as if my heart was being pulled out of my chest.


At first people assumed it was the “baby blues”, but soon I realized something wasn't right. I was extremely scared to take my daughter outside. What if somebody would steal her out of my stroller?


I was also scared during the night; I would stay awake making sure she wouldn’t die! This was completely irrational as she was a very healthy baby. As time went on, my OCD progressed, and I would even shout at my husband when he hung the laundry “wrong.”


Realizing that I was in over my head and my emotions and thoughts were spiralling out of control, I told my GP that I would rather die than continue on with this way of life. The only thing that kept me alive was the strong will to nourish my newborn.

I could not stop breastfeeding her. I’m quite sure, if I was unable to breastfed her, I would have literallyjumped out the window. Thankfully I got assistance from our family doctor and the mental health service providers in London, where we lived at that time. I started therapy and was put on an anti-depressant. I also started to attend a baby playgroup at a community centre in my neighbourhood, this was truly my saving grace. I lived for that one hour every Tuesday afternoon.


Slowly I got used to my new “normal” life as a mother. I had a very long and slow road to recovery from severe postnatal depression. It took over three years to fully recover and I still take anti-depression medication. Now when somebody asks how I am doing, I am honest. I’m feeling just fine as a woman, mother and wife. I stayed alive, and I remind myself every day that I survived severe postnatal depression.



There are many factors that can cause a woman to develop postnatal depression. The taboo and the guilt of having these feelings might hold mothers back from receiving the help they need. It is important to understand that more than 1 in 10 women are at risk of postnatal depression. If you feel worried about your mental health, don’t hesitate to seek advice. OASIS International Hospital provides mental health services that can help mothers make a full recovery from postnatal depression. 


The first point of seeking help would be the General Practitioner who can help you find the most suitable care. The diagnosis of postpartum depression can also be made by an Obstetrician on a postpartum follow up or by the paediatrician on your newborn follow up. Your husband or partner can also be aware and inform your healthcare provider of any worries.


Support for your psychological and social well-being is important postpartum. I recovered from postnatal depression with a combination of medication and extensive therapy. OASIS International Hospital offers quality mental health care services. If you’re struggling or you suspect a member of your family is in need of support, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your GP or pediatrician, they can refer you to a mental healthcare specialist.




Mental Health Specialists at OASIS



“Dr. Wang is a PhD graduate of Peking University Medical Center. He worked as a Chief resident psychiatrist at 6th Hospital of Peking University. He has a profound knowledge in psychopharmacotherapy in psychosis, depression, anxiety, insomnia and dementia.”

 

“Elly Wong, MSc, is a licensed mental health counselor from University of South Australia and has over 10 years of clinical as well as corporate and social services experience. She has studied and worked in Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and China with rich cross-cultural experience working mainly with women and children of diverse backgrounds. Built on a developmental and holistic framework, she integrates cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused therapy and family therapy in her treatment approaches. Her area of focus is on depression and anxiety as well as behavioral, family, adjustment and relationship issues.” 


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