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Dealing With Postpartum Depression in the Developing World
Posted By Rebeca Harcharik On October 29, 2011 @ 1:27 am In Child Survival | 3 Comments
Being pregnant, giving birth, caring for a newborn, and raising a child are all God-given tasks that are privileges, but in some cases, the stress they create is unbearable. Psychologists say that at least half of women are likely to get “the blues” or depressed in the weeks following childbirth, even in best-case scenarios.
Many of the mothers in our Child Survival Program cope with depression. They are neglected, abandoned and isolated.
In addition, they lack the knowledge and confidence to overcome the challenges in their lives. They may be single moms or they may be moms that were married as children. Either way, they are at a disadvantage, with little to no control over their own lives.
However, psychologists also say that one of the best solutions to fighting postpartum depression is the company of other people, especially the company of other women who have the same experiences.
The best resource that people have is each other. This seems like common sense and easy to make happen, but oftentimes it is not. Women in poverty live isolated lives. Often, they require permission to leave their homes. They cannot easily associate with other people.
Our Child Survival Program helps women because it offers them group-learning activities, opportunities for service to each other, and a community of faith.
Staff members break the barrier of isolation by conducting regular home visits and teaching mothers critical child survival lessons one-on-one. These interventions raise the self-esteem, confidence, and knowledge of the mothers.
As a result, women who initially did not want their pregnancies come to accept and cherish the lives growing in them. Women with complicated pregnancies and difficult births and postpartum depression now have support through each other. Mothers and babies are better off.
There truly is power in numbers, and our Child Survival Program facilitates the support that mothers provide to each other.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, his friend can help him up.” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a.
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