May is Mental Health Awareness Month, with the first week of May, 3 to 9 May, being Maternal Mental Health Week and 5 May Maternal Mental Health Day, a day marked to support women all around the world with the difficulties they face on their individual journeys through motherhood.
Postpartum Depression (PPD) is an issue that can be seen in women after delivery, and can triple in magnitude during the first month after delivery, in comparison to women without children of the same age.
There are various different symptoms and signs which include irritability, lack of concentration, feeling dejected, lack of sleep, suicidal thoughts, negative feelings towards motherhood, feeling insecure, eating a lot or barely eating, lack of interest, lack of energy to do things, crying a lot, intrusive thoughts or temperament with other individuals.
Tilda Timmers is a therapist and coach for women going through motherhood. Tilda is also a mother of two who experienced Postpartum Depression after the birth of her first child.
Tilda's book 'This Is Postpartum' covers topics to help mothers around the world with the tools to identify the symptoms of Postpartum, dealing with miscarriages, helping the people you love and caring for your own mental health.
The book is set out to equip women with the tools to help normalise the issues they face, to stop them from feeling the guilt and pressure that they face on a daily basis, and to steer away from the image of being a perfect mother.
Tilda says, "There is no right way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a good one. The bottom line is this: You don't feel your best right now, and you do want to feel better. Being a mum is hard. For every woman. Even the ones who look like they've got it totally sorted."
Postpartum Depression can happen to anyone although certain situations can increase its likeliness including bad relationships with parents, issues at work, toxic relationships, domestic abuse, higher expectations for yourself, lack of a mother figure in life, living away from family, wanting to have everything under control, financial issues or mental issues in the past.
Postpartum Depression is currently overlooked due to the stigma that giving birth to a child is a wonderful experience for a mother, and is often not talked about as women do not usually have the support, or the confidence, to talk about their individual struggles.
Every mother goes through struggles whether it is discussed or not. Being open about struggles can lead to getting the help needed, and can also help future mothers, or mothers currently struggling, to feel like they are not alone.
Tilda's book, 'This Is Postpartum' is currently available on the The Dream Collective's website and retails for Dhs 55.