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Overcoming Post Pregnancy Syndrome

After trying to get pregnant, Bisola conceived on her second cycle of IVF. For the first 12 weeks she was terrified about losing her pregnancy. Her blood pressure was unsympathetic but she went to work regardless. She spent the first 12 weeks constantly worrying about losing her baby because according to her, statistics are high for losing a baby in the early months among older women.

On the day she felt the baby kick, she’ll be okay and on the day she didn’t, she’ll break down in tears, with the thoughts that she had lost the baby again having experienced some instances of miscarriage. Bisola is naturally an anxious person and this became more obvious in this pregnancy being the first she was carrying to full term. After registering for antenatal, she was conscious of what she ate, she was always happy when she felt the baby kick; she really enjoyed having a tiny tot grow in her stomach.

Some people told her that the stress of attending to her daily chores was going to harm the baby and all which made her super careful about it. After a very progressive second trimester she felt better, she became anxious again during her third trimester because she wanted a natural birth but with a late stage pre- eclampsia (a disorder of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure and a large amount of protein in the urine) leading to an emergency cesarean section. After the C-Section, she had some complications and had to go under the knife again. While recovering from the surgeries, her mobility was limited which affected her ability to take care of her long awaited baby and bond with him. In fact, she had a mild case of ‘baby blues’ popularly called post natal depression.

“I was very limited because of the caesarean section and was almost reliant on my husband to pick up and move with our baby. I felt I was just a feeding machine and that was all I was good for and I had no playful times with our son. As I got more mobile and he’s giving me more smiles, I feel I can give him everything he needs and I feel confident about it.” Subsequent weeks as she recovered, her baby became responsive and they began to bond. Even though she is happy that she has her baby in her arms, Bisola feels it would be better if more efforts were made to enlighten the public and especially women on the dangers of post natal depression. She also called on new mothers to ensure they look after themselves while taking care of their babies. It is one thing to conceive and another for it to develop into full pregnancy. Pregnancy is the interval of time beginning when an egg and sperm unite and ending when the baby’s born.

A full term pregnancy lasts 9 months (38 to 40 weeks). The 9 months are divided into three trimester. During the first trimester the embryo develops, at the second the embryo develops into a fetus while it gains weight in readiness of birth in the third trimester three. As a woman gains weight and her body changes to accommodate a growing fetus, she may experience changes such as anaemia, backache, bleeding gums, constipation, tenderness of the breast, vomiting, fatigue, oedema, frequent urination, food craving and aversion to mention but a few. Having a baby is definitely one of the best times in the lives of many women.

This is because apart from the joy and sense of fulfillment she derives from being pregnant, her anxiety heightens as she looks forward to the day she would bring her little one home to picking a name and enrolling the child in a nursery, the excitement is palpable. The UNION spoke with a woman who gave birth last week and she said she was initially petrified, and almost irrational. In her words, “the feeling is beyond the natural. It was very blissful. What was most surprising and comforting was holding my long awaited baby in my arms. Immediately I looked at him all the pains of delivery vanished. I am proud to be a mother.”

Another pregnant woman, Mrs. Adewale Sherrifat, who is pregnant with her third child, feels being pregnant is a blessing and it is such a rare opportunity and many people do not have that opportunity. She admits it could be very tiring at times because of the symptoms that come with it. The joy of being pregnant is undeniable. According to her, “Whenever a woman becomes pregnant, everything changes, she feels afraid because it’s a journey she hasn’t delved into before, but the fact that she was given the opportunity to carry a baby in her womb is comforting but she has to be prepared for motherhood.

Being pregnant isn’t about carrying a baby; it’s about being able to live up to the task.” Dr. Olumide Segun, General Practitioner of medicine, in a chat with The UNION revealed that pregnant women ought to be handled with a lot of caution. He also harped on the need for pregnant mothers to register for ante-natal classes or treatment so as to keep up with the growth and development of the baby and monitor the welfare of the mother. Speaking on post-natal depression, Dr. Olumide said “post-natal treatment is necessary because various changes occur in the body during and after pregnancy.

Hence, postnatal check-up is very important is very important because it helps to keep the baby and mother in check while monitoring their growth. On the other hand, ‘baby blues’ is a psychological disorder and it has to be multidisciplinary. That is, the patient in question must see more than one doctor such as a psychiatrist, a gynaecologist and a clinical psychologist for medical advice and proper counseling.” Being pregnant is a beautiful thing, when a woman gets pregnant, she need not be scared or opt for an abortion, rather she should carry the pregnancy and give birth to the baby.

-Egberongbe Oluwaseun writes on a medical condition called ‘baby blues’ also known as ‘post-natal depression’ usually experienced by mothers after birth

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