Is child abuse a justified reaction to post natal depression?
What would you do?
How would you react when a mother is violently hitting her baby with no signs of stopping? Wouldn’t you take the baby away to a safer place so that the mother could calm down and come to her senses?
The person behind this video was merely yelling out to the distressed mother to put a halt to the abuse. She should have done something about this instead of watching passively. She even had the “brilliant” idea of recording the event.
Baby was relentlessly whacked with a pillow, pinched, kicked and even slapped in the face. There are many ways to stop a baby from crying, but hitting and kicking is certainly not the answer.
Video disclaimer: Content is very disturbing, please do not watch if you’re not up for it. It might ruin your day.
The actual video has been taken off YouTube due to violation of content, but here is a print screen.
Is killing the intention?
The person behind the camera asked: “Kau nak bunuh ke dia?” Translated: do you really want to kill the child? We’re very perturbed that the observer/witness did nothing to appease the mother or the child—reminding us of the passive onlookers in China when they left a toddler to die after she was run over by a van and then by a truck.
Mummy seems to be fuming beyond sanity. Our best guess is that she is suffering from post-natal depression—two thirds of mothers go through it. According to the Kandang Kerbau Hospital, signs include feelings of irritability, weepiness, moodiness, anxiety while caring for the baby as well as frustration with crying.
Overcoming postnatal depression
There are ways to get over this. We have a few suggestions that does not involve meds—antidepressants may balance out the chemicals in your brain by increasing levels of seratonin, but in the long run there are side effects. It may cause a dependency and worst of all, antidepressants may not even be effective for some people. Be aware that antidepressants may pass on into your breast milk in small amounts. (If you are intending to breastfeed)
Therapy by talking. A husband, friend or family member might help but they don’t know the extent of what you’re going through. A therapist may be your best bet. You can also look into a support group, a doctor, counselor or psychotherapist.
Get as much rest as you can. Sleep and rest may not be available all the time because you have a newborn—still try to get some. Ask someone to help look after your baby so you can relax. Also, you can nap when your baby sleeps.
A balanced and healthy diet. This one is a no-brainer. Now, with all the new demands of your body, your best bet is good nutrition.
Cut yourself some slack. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Everything is new, there are a myriad of things to learn and master—it’s not easy and cannot be grasped in an instant. We forget that we too need a treat or two sometimes for being supermom.
Exercise. We don’t mean overexert yourself. This will help you physically and mentally although it may be the last thing you want to do.
Meet other mummies. Join a support group—see the issues and joys other mothers are experiencing. You may feel isolated, but you are not.
Helpline. If you need someone to talk to call the National Pregnancy Helpline on 1800-MUM-TO-BE, the Babes Teens SMS Helpline on 8111-3535, or the Child Protection & Welfare Service at the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports on 1800-258-6378.
Child abuse outreach link.
The Royal Malaysia Police put up a notice on their fanpage about this video that went viral. Apparently, the case was reported back in 29 May 2011 and an arrest was made on the same day. The abuser is the birth mother of the baby girl and the woman is currently serving a jail term of 18 months.
What would you have done in this situation, as a parent yourself? Tell us in the comment box below…