Published on November 3, 2015

The minute that tiny baby lands in your arms you are only supposed to feel joy, or so you’re told.

Having a baby can be difficult and challenging. It’s hard to admit to feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and afraid. These feelings are common — so why is there a code of silence?

We don’t talk about it because depression makes us uncomfortable. There is a stigma around being a struggling mum. Yet women, especially first-time mothers, brave a gauntlet of life-changing events when they have a baby. A new mum loses her old identity and has to come to terms with a new one, relationships with friends and family change overnight and all this happens alongside other psychological and physical changes. It is a profound shift. 

It’s essential for us to know and recognize the warning signs of pre- and post-natal depression.
These might include apprehension about giving birth, feelings of guilt, fear of abandonment, incessant crying, a lack of energy, and worrying about being a good mother. Don’t dismiss these signs as being part of the normal hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, or the result of sleepless nights.

If you are a new mother or expecting a baby, it’s important for you to ignore notions of perfection; let things go, do more pleasurable activities, surround yourself with caring people. Talking to other pregnant women or mums of similar-age babies can beat back feelings of isolation and anxiety. Treat yourself as you would treat another new mum: with compassion,patience, generosity and a sense of humour. Above all, be honest with yourself, and seek help if you are struggling.


Dr. Quratulain Zaidi (BSc. Hons, MSc, MSc, PhD) is a British registered Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Central HongKong, and she also works as mental health consultant for a number of international schools in Hong Kong. She is an expert in educational assessments and ADHD,ASD,LD, specializing in individuals families, couples and teen issues including cybersafety, teen parenting, bullying, eating challenges, and self-harm. 

Category(s):Couple Counseling, Depression, Family Problems, Mental Health in Asia, Post Partum Depression

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