My Story: Postnatal Depression Took A Toll On Me, But I Did Not Want Mothers Like Me To Go Unheard

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My Story: 'Postnatal Depression Took A Toll On Me, But I Did Not Want Mothers Like Me To Go Unheard'

38-year-old Priyanka Kapur was lost in the dark when she was affected by postpartum depression after her daughter's birth. Having overcome depression after a year, she decided to create a safe space for mothers like her.

Born and brought up in Delhi, it was a huge transition for me to shift my entire life to Vadodara after marriage. I moved to the new city with my husband in 2007, and back then, I didn't know many people around the city. So it was the repeated cycle until five years, after which we were blessed with a daughter. I delivered my daughter but was not ready for what came afterwards.

Postnatal depression, a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby, struck her hard. It is a problem that occurs quite often among parents but does not get talked about much. With households keeping depression as a topic limited within the four walls, many parents tend to deal with it for months and years rather than getting medical help. As Priyanka stepped into the shoes of a new mother, she too was left in the dark as postnatal depression struck her.

Depression And Parenthood

Soon after my daughter was born, I took maternity leave and picked up the responsibility of caring for her. However, after a while, I left my job, and my entire schedule had turned haywire. Since I didn't know many people around Vadodara and the language was a barrier, I socialised very occasionally. I got caught up with my duties as a mother, and as much as it was a precious moment, I felt a pang of sadness every now and then. Until then, I was clueless that what I felt was termed "postnatal depression," and I let it slide past.

Gradually I began gaining weight, socialising less, and losing my sleep, which started taking a toll on my physical health. That's when I began reading and understanding about postnatal depression. It was then that I decided to do something about the phase I was going through. Since depression is a topic hushed up in many households, and I didn't know mothers around Vadodara with whom I could talk about it, I largely dealt with it by myself. All that while, I knew the journey would have been easier if there was a fellow mother with whom I could talk about it.

As my daughter started attending playschool, I hit the road and went on short runs. I also started conversing with more people, and within a year or so, I could see myself changing for the best. I was able to overcome depression, and I wanted to make sure that many more mothers like me could do the same.

Mothers Under The Same Roof

Nobody understands depression better than the person who is going through it. So when I decided to bring in a change, I created a community for the mothers out there. The intention was plain and simple - a safe space for women to talk openly and discuss the problems they face. In 2018, I started a Facebook group called "Moms Of Vadodara" with some 10 to 15 friends as members. Gradually it began picking pace and soon grew into a family of 5,000 active members.

We spoke, found solutions, and most importantly, uplifted each other under the roof of Moms Of Vadodara. People tend to focus on regular health checkups and physical health but forget to consider their mental health. They tend to brush it aside as part and parcel of being in the corporate world or looking after the family. This is not entirely true, and I have taken this message to them through Moms of Vadodara. Over time we have helped mothers prioritise their mental health, grow their small-scale businesses, and discover the idea of "Me Time."

Today I am a successful entrepreneur who nudges people to take their fitness goals seriously through adventure activities and a mother who is able to parent right. My daughter is eleven years old now and accompanies me to most of the events we hold under Moms Of Vadodara. She is an exact xerox of me, and I'm proud of the fact that I have been able to set the right examples for her.

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Editor : Jayali Wavhal
Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar

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