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Moms Share How To Help Others Cope With Postpartum Depression
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  • Editor’s Note: This article is intended for information purposes only. It does not substitute a doctor. It is vital to always consult a medically trained professional for advice that suits your needs best.

    Just like every pregnancy journey is unique, each new mom has a different experience during and after giving birth. That's why postpartum depression meaning may not be the same for all.

    In one episode of Calamansi Live Cast, for instance, the topic of postpartum depression was discussed among select members of the Smart Parenting Mom Network. One member said she felt "so blessed" that she didn't experience it but a close friend of hers did, and she was surprised to find out about it.

    What does postpartum depression mean?

    Postpartum depression (PPD) is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a "mood disorder involving intense psychological depression." It typically begins within a month after giving birth and usually lasts for more than two weeks.

    If you're suffering from PPD, you may find it difficult to form a bond with your newborn. You may also feel worthlessness and guilt (read here about mom guilt). To top it all, you tend to withdraw from other people and you just want to be left alone. You need to see a doctor to be clinically diagnosed for PPD.

    How to help fellow moms cope with postpartum depression?

    The Smart Parenting Mom Network member explained in the live cast that she was surprised by her friend's revelation of having been clinically diagnosed to be suffering from postpartum depression. She said her friend's child was almost two years old at that time and had a "supportive husband."

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    Nonetheless, she gave all her support and encouragement to her friend. She also hoped that more moms can be helpful to one another.

    Stop the stigma

    Based on her friend's experience, this mom said the first step in helping those with PPD is to not look down on them for seeking professional help. She explained, "May stigma tayo na, 'Hala! Bakit siya pupunta do'n? Ano siya, loka-loka?' Parang ganyan, di ba?'"

    She added, "I find it so unfair do'n sa mga mommies na may pinagdadaanan na mabigat, especially if they don't know the person, 'di ba? 'Tapos they really need help. And then, maririnig mo pa sa ibang tao na, 'Anong problema niya? Parang ang saya-saya naman ng pamilya. Ang bait-bait no'ng asawa niya. Ang cute-cute ng anak niya. Baka nag-iinarte lang."

    Offer encouragement

    Instead of putting down fellow moms who experience PPD, the other members of the mom network in the live cast said it's best to lift each other up. One mom in the panel said she overcame her postpartum depression with the help of her support system, which included her own mom.

    Another member in the panel recalled having syptoms of PPD when she had her first baby as a college student, but she wasn't clinically diagnosed. Good thing, there was a really sympathetic guidance counsellor at her school who helped and encouraged her in processing her emotions at that time.

    Lend an ear

    For someone who experienced postpartum depression, the mom network member has this to say: "Kung meron kayong makilala na isang tao na nag-open sa inyo na they are feeling this way, and if sa palagay ninyo na kayang makinig nitong taong 'to sa advice ninyo, you try to tell them na, 'Baka you need to seek help. If you want, I can come with you.'

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    "Kasi minsan, ano, e, minsan kailangan din nila ng validation, 'yung mga nakakaramdam ng ganyan, 'yung postpartum. Kailangan nila ng validation, kailangan ma-validate 'yung feelings nila kahit papano na nauunawaan din sila, na hindi sila dyina-judge kasi hindi ginusto 'yun."

    The other mom who didn't experience PPD said she helped by checking up on her friend as often as she could, and that simple gesture meant a lot. She said the postpartum depression meaning has become clearer to her and, hopefully, to others, too. (Read here about the difference of PPD from baby blues.)

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