28 August 2017

Nigeria: 1 in 7 Nursing Mothers Suffers From Postpartum Depression, Says Expert

Photo: Lydia Atieno/The New Times
(file photo).

Mr Tunji Johnson, a Team Lead, Monitoring and Evaluation, Postpartum Support Network Africa, says one in seven nursing mothers are suffering from the postpartum depression.

Johnson spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of a conference on "Work and Emotional Balance" in Lagos.

The conference was organised by Accrossall, a training and social development organisation, on Saturday.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia describes postpartum depression (PPD), also called postnatal depression, as "a type of mood disorder associated with childbirth which can affect both sexes.

According to Johnson, there are no measures in place in the nation's health institutions to address the issue of post-partum depression in mothers.

"Children born by women that have post-partum depression have the tendency to exhibit behavioural problems when they become adults.

"In this part of the world, mental illness is more perceived as spiritual, and so we have to do something about it," he said.

Johnson said that there was need to create more awareness among mothers and train more nurses to attend to pregnant women in the antenatal clinics.

"We need to raise awareness to go to the hospitals and talk to women during antenatal clinics.

"Those we discover that are prone to having the disorder will be followed up.

"In doing so, the information will be wide spread and such cases will be reduced," he said.

According to Wikipedia, symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) may include extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, changes in sleeping or eating patterns, crying episodes, and irritability.

"Risk factors include prior episodes of postpartum depression, bipolar disorder, family history of depression, psychological stress, complications of childbirth, lack of support, or a drug use disorder.

"Diagnosis is based on a person's symptoms.

"While most women experience a brief period of worry or unhappiness after delivery, postpartum depression should be suspected when symptoms are severe and last over two weeks." (NAN)

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