Blossom & Glow is very proud to be supporting PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia), and as well as making a donation from each sale to this amazing organisation, we are committed to starting conversations to support the many sufferers of this awful illness. You can find out more about PANDA and the amazing work they do here.
We were absolutely thrilled when the amazing Meng Lim joined us recently to discuss her experience with PNDA.
1. Who calls you mum?
I'm a mama of 3 little munchkins. They are Ethan (7), Charis (5) and baby Enoch (1)! They make my plate full but my heart even fuller.
2. How would you describe your life as a mum in one sentence?!
I love this quote by Tina Fey and it probably describes my life as a mum to a tee.
" You go through big chunks of time where you're just thinking, THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, OH THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE. And then you just keep going and keep going, and you sort of do the impossible!"
3. When did you first start noticing signs of postnatal depression?
I think for the most part after having my first baby, I didn't notice the signs. I thought it was just my hormonal imbalance, and it was normal for all mums to have meltdowns and a perpetual sense of doom. I thought it was normal for mums to feel overly anxious over everything related to baby. I was literally obsessed with baby weight and feeding times that the slightest deviations would send me into a bit of a panic. I wasn't aware those were signs of postnatal depression. It wasn't widely talked about then.
It wasn't until my third baby that I realised that the sense of hopelessness and anxiety were signs of PND.
4. How did your experience with PND impact on your day-to-day?
I love babies. Before I had my own babies, I always thought it would be such a wonderful & loving experience and I would feel all sunshine-y and rainbows about them. But when I had my own, I had dark and stormy thoughts towards them. I had thoughts about the what-ifs. What if, I gave them up for adoption, then I wouldn't have to take care of them. What if, someone came to take them away, then I can lead my life like I used to again. It was not the way I envisage my first moments of motherhood would be.
The once chirpy, happy, smiley individual became a moody, grumpy, dark clouds looming always woman. I disliked myself mostly when I'm down. But I couldn't get out of it. And I didn't want anyone to know about it. I felt like I shouldn't be feeling the way I did. And was mostly afraid to talk about it.
5. Where did you seek help?
I didn't know I could seek professional help. I wished I did. But in my dark (& sometimes desperate) moments, I reached out to friends and simple acts of kindness from them - a hug, a visit and their thoughtful gifts, snapped me out of my dark moments.
6. Explain what postpartum depression treatment strategies work for you?
Being aware that PND can happen to anyone. And recognising the signs early so intervention can happen.
7. What’s your advice to others who might be feeling anxious or down during the early stages of parenthood?
Don't be afraid to reach out. To friends, to the partner or to professional help. Motherhood is a journey not to be walked alone. We need a village - could be your partner, your friends, your parents etc. There are many people who are willing to walk through the dark periods of early parenthood with us. We are not alone in this!
You can follow the amazing Meng here.
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