Open letter: This Singapore mum and baby did not deserve to die

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A young mum just jumped to death with her 3-month-old baby, in Singapore. Is it yet another case of postnatal depression?

I was as usual nagging my kids about something mundane yesterday, when my phone buzzed with the shocking notification. A 29- year-old mum had just jumped to death with her 3-month-old baby, from the 12th storey of her block in Bukit Panjang.

I just couldn’t get over this news. The first question that cropped up in my mind was, “Why would a mum do that to her own baby?”…I soon chided myself for judging someone I didn’t even know…

Police are investigating the case and the reason for this drastic step is not yet known. The immediate assumption that’s floating around on Facebook is that it was due to postnatal depression.

That struck a chord in me. It brought me back to those days, many years ago, when I had gone through similar unexplained feelings of loss and depression…

Women who have gone through pregnancy might be able to better identify with these feelings. For me, as much as I was delighted to be finally holding my angel in my arms, I missed having the baby inside me. My tummy felt empty. I did not know why that made me sad…

And then, my life ceased to be my own. It was suddenly all about the baby.

“She must be hungry. Feed her.”

“Isn’t she getting enough milk? You must not be eating properly.”

“I have also given birth, I was never this tired. Stop overacting.”

The accusations seemed endless. Was I a bad and useless mum? I felt less human, and more like a milk producing machine.

ppd

I seemed to be alienated too soon, in my journey as new mum. Sure, I was surrounded by family, but the way I saw it, no one took the pains to understand, nor care. The focus was forever on the baby, and whether she was achieving her milestones.

Also READ: Breastfeeding issues and postnatal depression in Singapore

Of course, I too loved her more than anything else in the world, and knew that it was important to take care of this precious, helpless little being.

But, I was just not able to fathom why every moment of my life had to be pledged for her sake? Even simple things like using the toilet had to be planned in advance.

I was, however, lucky that I managed to hang on and overcome all the negativity in me; I soon got used to being a mum. But what about other women who may not have been that strong-willed? What if they drowned in the rising gloom in their heads?

Go to the next page for more on postnatal depression in Singapore…

Becoming a Mum General Postpartum depression