Nigerian women, Mrs. Aronke Feyi-Emmanuel and Mrs. Adenike Onifade sit with Chude Jideonwo, host of #WithChude and founder of Joy, Inc. to discuss PostPartum depression, and their personal experience with it.
Sharing on the interview, Mrs Aronke Feyi Emmanuel says: “I had my baby abroad, and I didn’t have the experience of a mom just fussing over you, applying heat on your belly, helping you, bathing you, I didn’t have that, and as you must assume, there’s no one to take care of me. So I took care of everything and everyone, but there was no one to take care of me. At least, not in the way I should have been taken care of”
“When I’m alone with the baby at night, [I always have] thoughts like ‘how did I get here?’ I would just think to myself, maybe I should just carry this baby and slam her on the wall and let everything just end. I just wanted my life back; I just wanted my sanity, my wellness back, and it looked to me like I wouldn’t get it. It was so tough that I didn’t have sex with my husband until 7 months after I had the baby,” she added.
Mrs. Adenike Onifade, a 3-time Postpartum depression survivor, shared, from her experiences, how medical facilities contribute to the crisis through mismanagement and misdiagnosis. “When I had my second son in 2011, there were complications. He was a big baby, and [in] the hospital where I had him, I was mismanaged. When I went back to them, they should have been able to diagnose me, but they couldn’t do that because they were trying to cover their tracks, So they said something that wasn’t what happened. I began to go from one hospital to the other in Abuja, and they’ll all say I was fine. The only place where I was close to getting help, the moment I mentioned where I had the baby, they said I was fine. For 4 years, I went around with this condition, seeking for help, and in those 4 years, I slipped back into depression.”
On the set were some of the cast and crew of the award-winning movie which shines a light on post-natal depression, For Maria: Ebun Pataki, and Dr. Gbonjubola Abiri, a psychologist and psychiatrist.
“The postpartum period is usually referred to as the first 6 weeks after a woman delivers. However, postpartum depression can occur within the first 12 weeks post-delivery, lasting even up to a year after the child has been born.” “Some people have a smooth ride [in their pregnancy]. some people are confined in bed from the first day they are detected pregnant till the day they deliver. Some people, again, are alone with no support, or the pregnancies are not planned; some people are in violent relationships where partners are beating them despite the fact that they’re pregnant. Some people are in relationships where there are financial issues. By the time you look at all of this, minus the stress of the pregnancy itself. When women eventually deliver, first of all, you have a rush, a rapid decline in the hormones when a woman gives birth. After that, you have the stress of childbirth, whether that childbirth is by vaginal delivery or assisted for a caesarean section, it is such an event. And then a sudden realization of the responsibilities – your life just changes forever. All of those, and of course, the support you get from your spouse, your partner, your family member. All of these go a long way to determine whether a woman will come down with post-partum depression,” Dr. Abiri explains.
“[Many women] are going through this thing, and they don’t even know what it is,” Meg Otanwa, main actor in 'For Maria' adds.
Watch the excerpts from the interview here:
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