I vividly remember when I had my first child. Every day of the pregnancy was bliss. I was so strong and energetic that I didn’t know I was in labour until the doctor advised he checked if I was due for labour, to our surprise I was already in labour. That evening, my husband and I decided to have a cup of Ice-cream and Sharmawa just because; “It was our last night of freedom, and we were going to enjoy ourselves .”
The next day, had me strolling into the hospital to give birth to my precious baby. Barely less than 40 minutes into active labour, she came forth, no words can explain what I felt at that moment. Then came the time to sew the cut I had, they gave me anaesthetics and then the light went off.
You can imagine the pain that was waiting for me after the light came back on. The drug had waned off, they had to sew me without any anaesthetics.. Olorun mii. The pain was worse than labour was for me.
I had done all the needful to prepare myself for the experience of breastfeeding but I was not ready for the aftermath of the painful sewing of my vagina. When the procedure was done and it was time to feed my daughter, viola! No breastmilk
The nurses kept pressing my nipple (imagine the pain again) and when they saw my nipple was clean and still no milk, we were advised to wait. We waited again and again for two days, but all that came out was tiny drops of breast milk. My daughter was crying uncontrollably, but I had heard people say exclusive breastfeeding is the only way, and any other way doesn’t make you mother enough. So, I was persistent…
People will call me and the first thing they will ask is “hope you are lactating well, you must do exclusive breastfeeding please no artificial milk abeg”
Nobody asked if I was doing ok? If I was resting enough if I was relaxed and adjusting well as a new mother. They were rather concerned about the exclusivity of the breast but not about the breast owner.
Less we forget I was in excruciating pain. Nothing was healing at all and in less than a month from delivery, the worst thing happened ….” My awful menstrual period started.”
Looking back at that time, I wasn’t as informed as I was then. Thank God for my husband, he’s a true man. He is really the priest over my life. I really wanted to be a complete mother and achieve the goal of exclusive breastfeeding but I was suffering from postpartum depression. I cried non-stop for weeks.I felt dead a lot of times though alive. Suicidal thoughts were always going through my mind but God’s mercy kept me. There was a time I was rushed to the hospital but they couldn’t decipher what was wrong with me.
Now, when I see a new mother, all I am concerned about is the mother. Only her. Check up on new mothers. Pray for them. Don’t you dare ask a new mother if she is doing exclusive breastfeeding if you haven’t asked her if she is doing ok. Also, do not condemn a woman who didn’t do exclusive breastfeeding if you’ve never asked about her wellbeing.
Be constructive with the way you ask questions, don’t say are going through Depression?
And if you are going through post-partum depression please don’t keep quiet, ask or pay for help.
Talk to the Holy Spirit, He’s a great friend.