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Matters of the Heart
March 6, 2024

Mothers Share Their Tips and Tricks

The following is a candid and informal real life conversation where a new mother asked for advice from other sisters who were mothers or had recently become mothers themselves. The names have been changed/hidden for safeguarding the privacy of all those involved. The advice’s are from a range of mothers from different walks of life in different parts of the world. Everyone had their own ways of tackling the situation, yet they could all relate to the initial difficulties of being a new mother.

New Mother – Assalamualaikum. Has anyone here suffered from postnatal depression/baby blues? I don’t know what I have. I love my child but when I nurse him in the nights and do my best to comfort him and he still doesn’t sleep and cries, I will just break down. Sometimes my break down can last hours. I have family support Alhamdulilah and my parents and husband are being amazing pillars for me in this time but I feel so guilty when they take over sometimes. I’m usually fine in the day but at night I crash physically and emotionally. I feel as though I’m being ungrateful when in reality I’m so grateful for this gift but sometimes everything can be overwhelming. I can go on crying for hours and then I feel guilty because my husband has to be there for me and my baby.

Mother N
– Baby blues, YES!. Not to the extent I was depressed though Alhamdulillah. I think most women go through some form of it in those early days. For me the first two months were extremely difficult even though I had a lot of support from my mum Alhamdulillah. Hormones also play a big role.

Aw sister it is completely natural to feel like that! Having a baby is the most life changing and overwhelming thing. I was exactly the same wallah. Me and him (baby) on our own night and I’d just break down. I know but you just gave birth. Let me repeat that, you just gave birth! Don’t feel guilty about him supporting both of you,  that’s what he’s there for!  Even now my husband has to sometimes look after both of us when I’m having a bad day and I still do have bad days.

New Mother
– I’ve never felt emotions this strong! I know that but I don’t know where this guilt comes from

Mother N
– I actually still have issues caused by my pregnancy which physically make it difficult for me to day to day things and that really gets gets to me but Alhamdulillah if it wasn’t for my husband I’d be a lot worse. You feel like you need to be his sole caregiver that you need to be a better mother. Emotionally breaking down doesn’t fit that narrative.

New Mother
– I love him and want to enjoy these days with baby as I know they grow quick

Mother N
– I’ve been there myself and it does get better. Don’t turn away help and support these are essential for you especially now. Talk about it, and get those duas flowing when those tears hit you’ll feel better offloading to Him SWT. Have you spoken to your Health visitor?

New Mother
– She hasn’t visited yet, and my midwives have been coming but I’ve been okay up until a couple of days ago.

Mother N
– I know it doesn’t feel like it now but I promise you it will get better, I know because I was in the exact same position one year ago. I remember the first time mine visited I just sat and cried. They reassured me that these feelings were completely normal and I wasn’t an awful mother and when to seek help

New Mother
– I know it’ll get better and I also know that there are beautiful moments even amidst these difficult days. And I’m just trying to capture them.

Mother N
– It’s really hard to enjoy your baby in those early days especially as a first time mum, everything’s so new and overwhelming and you’re sooooo tired, before you know it those days are gone. It’s always good to get a medical perspective to make sure it’s not something to worry about.

Mother B
– Asalamualaikum. I experienced some depression as well with my first daughter. I would cry for stupid things but never because I felt I was not good enough as a mother or wife. It was actually the opposite. I felt like my husband was not doing enough to help me out. I had a C Section delivery and it was hard for me physically to take care of the baby. I was all alone in a new country, away from home. Even though my husband really helped me in the first two weeks but he had to go to work after that. I couldn’t accept it. Furthermore, I used to blame myself for not being able to have a normal birth and whenever I remembered that fact I cried and cried. I would even cry when my baby cried. Sometimes even when she (baby) was sleeping a lot, I cried because I felt she was sick and couldn’t cry because of that. That was just being stupid. But, it all went away with prayer and as time passed I was stronger physically. You will start feeling better with time naturally. Don’t panic. Tell yourself: “It is just temporary! I am fine! No one is strong enough to help you more than yourself”. Regarding your thought that you are not doing enough – The only thing you must focus on now is yourself and the baby. Forget about housework and the husband (He is an adult and can take care of himself).  May Allah make it easy for you! Amin. It will go away! With God’s will.

Mother N
– I remember the first time I had to look after my baby all on my own, he must have been at least 5/6 weeks by then and up until that point there was always someone else at home with me but all of a sudden it was just me and baby. I was so nervous I cried for ages!

I think actual post natal depression and a bit of baby blues which most women experience are two quite different things. Not that baby blues are anything to dismiss, it’s still awful in its own right! But I do think we use the word depression very lightly

Sister W
–  If I am not mistaken, in post natal depression, you want to harm your baby. There have been so many cases where the mother were depressed and they accidentally drowned their babies or forgot to feed the baby etc.

Mother N – In extreme cases I’d think, but I think post natal depression would really cripple a person and you’d become very apathetic towards everything and everyone including your baby. There’s a lack of connection to your child. That motherly love is not there. That’s why it’s important to seek medical advice to differentiate and make sure what you’re dealing with isn’t something more sinister for want of a better word

Sister W – Post baby blues is something that I think every mother goes through because the hormones are all over the place. I know after my sisters’ kids were born, the first six months they would cry every time the baby wouldn’t stop crying. I think that’s just because mothers feel helpless and are so overcome with emotions that they don’t really what else to do.

Mother N
– Definitely, women are very emotional creatures naturally anyway and things like menstruation, pregnancy, childbirth, a baby, all escalate that.

Mother A – One of the biggest difference between PPD and baby blues is that PPD just won’t go away “just like that”. Baby blues can last for long as well (and a sense of worry will always remain as a mother no matter what age the child), but I think about few months (and even sooner for some mommies) you start feeling better, more positive and less anxious.

Also your health visitor/doctor can assess you. Speak to her very openly about every feeling. Don’t keep anything hidden. Not only will it lighten you, but it will help them to keep track of your psychological state as well, InshaAllah.

SubhanAllah sister, I won’t bore you with my story, but suffice to know that I was so anxious, and felt so detached from my baby, that for the entire first one month, I would ONLY take him to feed him. And that’s because I HAD to. I don’t know how to put it, but it wasn’t just worry/anxiety, it was FEAR. I was afraid of my baby. I felt anxious anytime it was time for his feeding. And sometimes I just felt plain loathing. I’m sorry if it’s too much information, but there it is. So all this was there in addition to breaking down when he wouldn’t sleep, crying for stupid things, feeling very low etc.

My appointments with my gynae and lactation consultant were just non stop crying hours. I lost almost 10 kgs in the first month after delivery, stopped eating, and slept all day. Alhamdulillah my immediate family was supportive but few relatives gave me very hard time post partum and that added to the stress. Just know dear that your body has been through tremendous change in the past 1 year. Yes! Don’t just count “delivery onwards.” It started the day you conceived. Your body organs were squished together by your little one, your hormones are still all over the place, your bladder was used as a stepping stool, your body literally tore apart to give life to a new human being. You, my dear, are a miracle of God.

Do NOT underestimate your time during pregnancy, delivery and now post partum. Give yourself some credit. Give yourself time. To process, to feel, to breathe. You deserve pampering, rest, and sleep. Yet you can’t get a lot of sleep, and so its natural to want more! Try to let go of the guilt, go easy on yourself, and accept yourself for who you are today. Let yourself heal inside out.

Don’t be in a hurry “to enjoy your baby”. Yes they grow up fast from being a baby but that extends to almost the first 2 years of their life.So Alhamdulillah you have time InshaAllah. All will happen in good time. Remember, the more easy you go on yourself, the more positive you will become, and the better momma you will be to your little one. 20 hours of good momma is better than 24 hours of cranky, upset momma. (although just momma is good enough too, no matter how she is)

Let your family take him, catch your sleep, eat well and do as much dhikr as you can. No one can judge our mothering skills from the first few months, and no one has a right to as well. And you should not too. It will all get better InshaAllah. I am attending hypnotherapy counselling now Alhamdulillah. Doc prescribed some natural herbs and medicines, but eventually the gynae said I needed therapy. Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal

Sister W
– Alhumdulillah. Thats amazing that you got help, many people don’t and they think it will just go away. The therapy will be very helpful inshAllah

Mother A
– Yes Indeed Alhamdulillah. I wish it were sooner and not 6 months after delivery. But better late than never. That is why I would never ask a mother to discredit what she’s feeling. I kept passing it off as baby blues but Subhan Allah it became steadily worse. Alhamdulillah it’s getting better cuz I’m training myself to control my thoughts more.. Alhamdulillah for every test.

Mother N
– What every new mother needs to hear!  I’m still getting physio to recover from trauma from pregnancy!  Just because women have done it for so long I think people underestimat just how much damage having a baby does to your baby and how terribly difficult it is!

Mother R
– After my first baby was stillborn, I went into a terrible depression. .I felt all these urges to hurt my baby, although I didn’t physically have her with me. So maybe Alhamdulillah for that. I got really bad anxiety with it as well.. my body was uneasy all the time and had several episodes of anxiety attacks and went to the hospital a couple times.

I was told I needed anti depressants, but I didn’t want them at all. I was afraid all the time, I cried all the time and I had bad thoughts a lot. I however ONLY relied upon Allah for help and solace. I made dua like crazy. When I did get pregnant again I was super scared throughout the entire pregnancy. And I was more afraid to be alone with him. I also had some depression with him and still had the feelings of wanting to hurt him for a while, but I kept reminding myself and my husband kept reminding me this is from Shaytaan (those thoughts). And Alhamdulillah I eventually got over it with time, family support and Allah most of all. Sister, don’t feel like you will be missing out on your baby. You have lots of time with him InshaAllah and it will get better. Your body just experienced a massive change in hormones and what you are experiencing is normal. Do not be afraid and frustrated. Allah is there always to help you. And as the days and weeks go by InshaAllah,  you will have more and more good days until it eventually goes away. But as advised by all the other sisters here, seek medical advice InshaAllah. I was afraid to seek medical help for fear that I would be diagnosed as crazy and sent away or something. All the mummies here very strong Muslim women and you have Allah. You will get through this a winner and look back on it and say to yourself “wow! I can’t believe I went through that time in life.. now it is just a memory”.

Sister R
– I’m not even married yet but just reading all this made me appreciate my own mother so much. Alhamdulillah that we have some kind of “outlet” to pour and share our emotions but I guess my mother’s generation was when little even acknowledged these issues, let alone provide support. Alhamdulillah for a time we’re able to connect and share to find our way back out.

I got engrossed in a lot of matters recently and my connection with my mom was reduced to just obligatory phone calls everyday to report what time I finished classes and whether I had my meals. I felt a tinge of “Ma, I’ve grown up, stop asking the same routine questions, I’m fine”.

Reading this made my reflect why would a mother be so concerned of her child and she has gone through so much and changed tremendously, physically, mentally and emotionally and so it’s her RIGHT to be concerned and it’s by DUTY to allow her to be so.

Paradise is under mother’s feet just makes much more sense now.

New Mother
– Allah bless you for sharing that. You have no idea how much it helps to know that I’m not alone in this and that other mummies have experienced similar or in your case far worse.

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