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Emotional wellness -Overcoming PPD With MIL

Having a child is one of the most joyous and significant experiences in a woman’s life. While life for us, life was exciting and enjoyable with the new baby, it was also difficult and stressful at the same time. For a few days or weeks after giving birth, often new moms suffer from the baby blues, a moderate form of depression, that’s what had happened with me when my first child was born, and I was clueless about the same. Postpartum depression is real and ‘new moms’ need family support to overcome from it. Postpartum psychosis is a rare but serious condition that affects certain women after giving birth.

While I wasn’t aware about the PPD I had or even if it exists, I was overwhelmed about the things going around, Because of sleepless nights, because of hormonal changes, because of overwork I was doing or because of all these together. Sharing what and who helped me overcome PPD in a nuclear setup of Me, my husband and a Newborn child.

Husband and In-laws can play an important role in helping the ‘new mom’ overcome post pregnancy blues and PPD. While there are quite a few articles appreciating husband. We usually forget to give the due credit to our In-laws. I am thankful to all my family members but, I would like to thank my Mother-In-Law in this article. If you are reading this while you have a new mom or to be new mom at home, this can be helpful for you. You can take this as a guide for parents or in-law to follow and help the mother cope with postpartum depression in healthy and supportive ways.

COMMUNICATION

Being in touch with the new mother helps in knowing the exact condition and notice any symptoms which might need attention. Fathers too often suffer in silence when their partner is experiencing postpartum depression.

My MIL was physically present with us in initial weeks when I came back from my parents’ house with our newborn baby. After that, she was always just a call away for anything we needed as new parents. She has this amazing quality of listening patiently. She had always been there for us, visited us more often, to support us physically, Mentally and emotionally.

AWARENESS & SUPPORT

Neither Me, nor any other member our family knew about PPD, its symptoms or things to be done to overcome PPD. It’s quite easy to gather information regarding PPD these days. So, being aware and providing support is the first step towards the treatment of PPD. Healing starts from the time new mother feels the support, concern, and interest in her well-being and recovery. My MIL was always there as my support and helped me when needed or asked for.

ASSURANCE & STABILITY

As a family member or an experienced person, my MIL had always assured me that things would fall in place soon, she had always encouraged me to see the brighter side of motherhood, she had always said- ‘Rooms can be cleaned, hairs can be combed, things can be reorganized, but, our little-one would never be this little again & If I don’t take care of myself, the family won’t look like this again. So, cherish the time spent with the baby and don’t miss out on taking care of yourself’.

SLEEP V/S CHILDCARE

Sleep is as important as the childcare we provide to our little squish. We might forget to get a day nap as we get indulged in the household chores or cooking or organizing things for the baby. And Nights are often sleepless, for me, all nights were sleepless with our infant. My MIL used to take care of the baby at daytime and insisted to get day nap so that I get some sound sleep without worrying about the baby or any of its needs.

CHILDCARE

Many couples face marital problems too during postpartum depression. This often happens when the couple don’t deliberately spend time alone together. Offering childcare for a day or a weekend by any other family member can relieve stress and guilt the parents may feel about spending time away from the house together.

As a parent, my MIL encouraged us more to spend time together as a couple, without our baby for some time. She used to take care of our baby so that we can go out for a walk or a cup of coffee or to the nearby market. We had gone out to have dosas, at times had relished some panipuris too. We went out without baby, at least twice a week and it felt relaxing, may be because I had not been thinking about childcare for those hours.

GIVING TIME TO SELF

The mother can feel blocked by breastfeeding in a small room or a sofa. Instead of addressing the stress, seeking assistance from family can be helpful. While our baby was taken care of by my MIL I could go out with a friend or all alone for cup of coffee and some ‘Me time’. Any “me time” once a week can be scheduled and felt rejuvenated with all the thoughts we get after this much needed me time. ‘Me time’ can also be going for a stroll, having a nap, watching a film or doing some yoga without any interruption by the baby or any other thoughts of running back to baby or household chores.

FRIENDSHIP

We all need at least one friend, who can listen to us patiently, don’t judge us and give genuine advice and support us when we are feeling like falling apart. It’s the same in case of PPD. I had my MIL who had always been there, patiently listening to me and giving me the best advice she can and providing the required support. We had also gone out together for short walks and to nearby market, I felt good and normal by doing so. By remaining positive about progress and focusing on the fact that eventually things will fall into place, my MIL has played an important role in my recovery.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla in collaboration with Bohemian Bibliophile.

17 thoughts on “Emotional wellness -Overcoming PPD With MIL

  1. Neelam Sharma

    I am glad that you could come out of your postpartum depression
    I too feel your family support and understanding are the keys,

  2. Your post made me happy. In this day and age, it’s so heartening to see a mother-in-law supporting and helping her DIL especially with PPD. You’re lucky. God bless your family.

  3. Having one friend..or any family can be a saviour…it’s true women goes to many changes during and after pregnancy and they need to be supported.. Informative post

  4. You are blessed that you have such a supportive mother-in-law; otherwise, I know many of my friends don’t get any support from their in-laws. The way you overcome your PPD with the help of your family is truly amazing. Stay blessed, girl

  5. This is a prevalent challenge, and sadly not enough women have the information or support to help them. Your article is helpful as it shares simple things that are easier for women with ppd to implement and help themselves.

  6. Zenobia Merchant

    An absolutely heartwarming and beautiful post. I loved the sentiments attached and the fact that it doesnt make the MIL the villain as is so often depicted. I guess its a new experience for them as well as us.

  7. Swati Mathur

    I am glad that you could come out of the postpartum depression
    I too feel your family support and understanding is the key as you expect them to understand and be patient

  8. That’s such a sweet post. True, our support systems are key in getting new moms through the initial few days and months. In my case well, my husband, parents and mom in law were a huge support.

  9. “While there are quite a few articles appreciating husband. We usually forget to give the due credit to our In-laws.” I’m glad someone is talking about this finally. I’m not a parent but I feel that we don’t appreciate the goodness of the family we get married into as much as we trash the bad side of it all. Happy to learn that your mother-in-law helped you in PPD journey and overcome it. The pictures are just heartwarming. My love to your little one and doing a nazar battu for the positivity oozing out of your photos with your MIL.

  10. These are the things which I can only try to understand. It’s very nicely written post!

  11. Thank you for sharing your empowering story of overcoming PPD with the support of your mother-in-law and family. Your insights and experiences serve as a beacon of hope for others navigating similar journeys towards emotional wellness and motherhood.

  12. You are very blessed. My mother-in-law passed away before I got married but I try my best to be a good one to my daughter-in-law. The relationship is two-way like most. You have to work on it.

  13. This is such a heartfelt post! Having a friend who listens without judging and offers genuine support is so important, especially when you’re going through tough times like PPD. It’s wonderful to hear that your MILnhas been there for you, patiently listening, giving advice, and providing support. Going for walks together and spending time outdoors can really lift your spirits and make you feel better. It’s amazing how positivity and focusing on progress can help with recovery. I am going to share this with my friend’s husband who recently became a parent.

  14. I am happy to read this post of your Pooja about emotional wellness with MIL. I wish this strong emotional bond remain with you for many years and your child grow up with a great example of Saas-Bahu relationship. Honestly very few get this privilege to enjoy and you are in this exception catagory. Honestly such relations make life simple, happy and satisfying not just for the duo but also for the family as a whole. Give my hugs to aunty ji and here goes my love for you. How I can forget the little one…. Loads and Loads of love for you my little angel.

  15. What a lovely tribute to your mother-in-law. Your post redefines the traditional concept of a MIL. It is such a pleasant read; she stood by you like an experienced elder and gave you the much needed TLC as a new mom.

  16. I remember when I entered this new phase in my life, everything felt like falling apart. In my case, I got support from my husband and he helped me come out of PPD. I was expecting this support from my mother and mil, thinking that they know better as they had gone through the similar phase but they both acted so differently. It’s heartwarming to see such understanding and care you got from your mil.

  17. God bless your MIL. Very few new moms get such caring MILs who don’t complain and let you sleep instead when you’re preganant or a new mother.

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