Mental illnesses explained: Postpartum Depression

You’d think there’s nothing better than holding your newborn in your arms, than becoming a parent. In between the pleasure and joy of giving birth is a period of depression and anxiety in some mothers.

Postpartum depression is a term known to many but seldom understood. Our society brushes it under the carpet, labeling it as a mood swing. What we fail to realize is that postpartum depression is an actual illness and needs to be addressed the same way as any other mental illness does.
This spell of low moods, anxiety and depression can continue for months after giving birth and can worsen to a psychotic condition if neglected. While the root cause of it is still under scrutiny, you can’t deny its existence. Surprisingly, not only new mothers but also fathers might be affected.

Unfortunately in Pakistan where mental illness awareness is still in its infancy, the only solution to postpartum depression is thought of as getting closing to religion and reciting the Quran. It’s true these practices give a sense of peace and relaxation but they are not a viable treatment to a real mental disease.

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Identifying the condition isn’t black and white. You can’t run a lab test and find out whether it’s postpartum depression you’re suffering from.

There can be multiple manifestations of postpartum depression. Keeping a sharp eye out for the signs can help you reach a quick diagnosis. According to studies, around 15% women experience symptoms of postpartum depression. Some of these women have a past history of depression while others might be experiencing depression for the first time after giving birth.
If you or your loved one has been showing a lack of interest in activities after giving birth, has brief crying spells, prefers to stay alone for most of the day or even neglects the needs of their newborn, then postpartum depression is highly likely.

Postpartum depression is treated by not only therapy but also pharmacological intervention. If you or a loved one is suffering from it, it’s high time you visit your psychiatrist and acknowledge your condition – it’s important for you and your newborn’s wellbeing.

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The Relationship between late night Television and Sandwiches

Written by Fatima Majoka

Toast a largish piece of bread with a slice of cheese until it starts melting, lay on a cutting of salami, add a crunchy salad leaf and cover it with a half fried egg sprinkled with a pinch of salt and pepper. Top everything with another piece of bread and press it gently until you hear the satisfying plop of the yolk breaking. Now bite into the contentment. Sip some soda in between the bites as you watch senseless late night television.

This had been my ultimate treat after I had put the kids to sleep, for years their bedtime ranged between ten pm to two am and I led myself on to put up with it by dreaming about this very moment. Of course most days I went to sleep while putting them to sleep or would be too tried to even sit on the sofa and some days there was nothing left in the refrigerator to make a sandwich out of! But the addiction to this, the moment of satisfaction, that bite into a big juicy sandwich was what mostly kept me going through. So much so that it became almost an addiction. I wanted to savor this feeling of elation every single day; it was my drug of choice. Cold chicken sandwiches, garlic mayo and leftover sandwiches, mince beef and cheese sandwiches and when there wasn’t anything else boiled eggs and tomato sandwiches. Needless to say I could whip up a sandwich anytime and from almost anything.

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Then quite dangerously I started buying foodstuff that complemented my sandwich addiction, I started getting DVDs to make my sandwiches worthwhile and drinking more and more soda to make everything last longer. So much was my ‘me’ time taking over my life that I would resent anything or anyone that came between us. I wanted to be home on weekend nights and even wanted my husband to go to sleep early so I could enjoy this time by myself. I dislike guests staying late and hated it if the kids got sick and I was too exhausted to stay up for my addiction.

At one point; around 20 pounds overweight and quite mentally deranged, I realized that this was becoming a very ‘unhealthy’ obsession. Late night high carb food and resenting your own family has its toll on your mind and body. I do enjoy my sandwiches but now I make them for picnics or weekend movie dinners with the kids. And yes I am much healthier, still a little obsessed but with healthier things now.

Birthdays made easier :)

Please note this is NOT a paid/sponsored post.

So what do you do when you have two young kids, no culinary skills, no helper, laundry still screaming for attention and your little one has her birthday coming up! You start panicking?

Well, especially yes if you are living in singapore and are on a budget.

This year I decided to celebrate Duaa’s birthday on a budget beside the pool with a few friends of both kids and perhaps 2-3 of my close friends. I wanted something very casual but the cake has to be the most important thing in a birthday party no matter how extravagant or casual the party is. The lady who I have been turning to for the past two years for all our ‘cake’ needs was travelling and that’s when I found out that a friend, Ruqaiya has recently launched her business too. The best thing about her is that she can do all sorts of desserts and you are not limited to cakes only. The next problem was I had only seen pics of her cakes, who did look pretty but I had no idea how they tasted. So, I just trusted her blindly. Or let’s say not exactly blindly because I had already tasted some stuff she had made and it was absolutely amazing to say the least.

Finally I ordered cake pops, cake and cookies from her on snow white theme.

I gave her a few pictures and a few instructions so that she would be free to use her own creativity too. The cake, cake pops and cookies all looked better than the pictures I had given her and the taste was absolutely mouth watering. To top it off her rates are just as good. She didn’t over charge and packed everything with finesse.

It’s hard to believe that she has recently started her business and is just so exceptionally talented . She has been doing various baking and decorating courses to enhance her skills.

This is what she has to say herself, “I am a mother of two daughters (4 and 2) who are crazy about sweets. I am from Pakistan and moved to Singapore couple of years back. I loved baking since I was a student. I actually made my first cake in a pressure cooker:p Looking the shine in my daughters eye as they see the cake gives me push to be more creative and try something different! Over the period, I have experimented with variety of different cakes. I love making decorating cakes with gumpaste, fondant and buttercream. I like the freedom to play with my innovative skills to put the customer’s idea into reality. I am happy to have received very encouraging feedback from my clients so far! My favourite cake so far is the Frozen Castle, which I made for my daughter’s birthday.”

Please visit her Facebook page for more pictures and support her little business to help her nurture her talent.

Sweet indulgence https://www.facebook.com/groups/1692313401087469/

Bol key lab azad hain

Women are respectful no matter what family background they have, the number of years they have spent in school, their choice of profession, the size of their clothes and the kind of person they choose to be with. Finally, udaari had the guts to say all this on national TV and that too on a prime time show.

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m a huge fan of udaari. It has dared to do something no one has ever done before. And has succeeded in doing so too. It’s a story of singers from two different social classes and the behavior of people towards each. While the singers from ‘elite’ class get a lot of respect, singers from humble background (who might actually be better singers) are treated as mere ‘naachney gaaney wali’ unfortunately. A sad reality of our society.

It talks about real, strong women. The kind of women that we actually have in Pakistan. Women who do everything in their capacity to provide for and protect their children no matter how hard things might get. No, usually women in Pakistan are not ‘damsel in distress’ only waiting for their ‘prince charming’ to rescue them. Sheedan, meera, sajida, zebo, military are all very strong women in their own ways and are the kind of women I would like all Pakistani girls to aspire to be rather than mannu from Mann mayal.

It talks about the choice a girl can make in terms who she wants to get married to and when. When a guy proposes a girl and she declines, every one says that she has ‘friend zoned’ the guy. This statement takes away her right to choose a guy by her own will rather than social pressures. Udaari shows brilliantly that two people can still be friends, can still work together professionally even if the girl has rejected the boy’s proposal. It also talks about not getting married until you are completely sure of your decision and ready to settle down.

Finally, of course it talks about child abuse, domestic violence and sexual harassment. This was definitely the most important issue of all. We have been turning our faces away from it for too long. It’s only making the situation worse. Parents need to talk to their children about the difference between good touch and bad touch. Parents need to have a friendly relationship with their kids and must listen to whatever their children tell them with utmost attention. Children don’t lie and if they are scared of someone or a bit too fond of someone, it is the parents’ duty to probe further. Udaari talks about parenting and also how to legally deal with people if, God forbid, something bad happens.

It must not have been very easy to bring such a bold topic to our television screens but the team of udaari has been able to do rather marvelously. We must thank Momina Duraid and Kashf foundation to have the courage to fight against all odds to produce something like udaari. Of course, it would have been nothing without Farhat ishtiaq’s writing and Mohammed ehtishamuddin’s direction. Actors, both new and old, have given some of the best performances of their lives. Ahsan khan deserves all the awards for portraying imtiaz so well. And may God bless the little zebo and her parents for letting her being part of this project.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you must watch it now. If you have a daughter over 7 years of age, I would recommend you watch it with her. It will make it much easier to speak to her about a lot of things which are taboo in our society

Meethi Tikya

What an absurd title for a blog post…isn’t it? At least it might seem like it if you have read my posts seven years ago :p

So anyway, I spoke with 2-3 of my friends from my blogging days and they all told me I should be blogging again. So Ithought about it and decided not to blog as currently I’m ‘too busy’ and have my ‘hands full’ with other more important stuff. But then I thought that seven years ago, I was quite busy too in my life too but I still made it a point to blog 3-4 times a  week. I can totally do 1-2 posts every week now. So after a hiatus of almost two years, here is another post.

So yea, this post is about the lovely snack meethi Tikya. I have beautiful childhood memories of this mouthwatering snack. My Nani used to make it us quite often. And today I decided to make it for my fussy kids hoping that they would eat a little.

Recipe:

Take 3/4 cup milk in a pan and heat with 1 cup sugar till all the sugar dissolves. Then add 4 table spoons of butter and melt it probably. In a separate bowl take 2 cups white flour and 1/4 cup sooji kneed it using the milk mixture. The dough should not be too soft or runny. Leave the dough to rest for 1-2 hours. Then roll it thick (around a 1/4 inch) with a rolling pin and cut using your favorite cookie cutter. Deep fry till golden brown.

Enjoy with milk or tea 🙂

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Around Singapore in 15 days (1)

Entertainment in singapore is rather expensive but thankfully during school vacations there are lots and lots of events  with FREE admission. and trust me, they are rather good.
I know i should have postrd about these events really long time ago but, well, i didnt get around posting about it. i just saw the pics on my phone and finally decided to post this while putting D to sleep for the third time tonight.
Anyway, back in late november, wr had settled in our new home, K’s school had been finalized and we were bored. so i started looking on internet for activities for children (for free) other than the play grounds and man, i was pleasantly surprised there was just so much to choose from!
we finally decided to go to two live shows: Barney and Dora. to tell you the truth, we were not disappointed at all. the admission for both the shows was free and our expectations were rather low but apart from insufficient sitting area, there was nothing wrong with the show itself. in fact it was comparable to any other show for which you might have to spend hundreds of dollars.
in fact, we are now already looking forward to the activities that would b offered in summer vacations.

here are some pictures from the two shows

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K will go to school

Time flies.
My little K is now a big girl. Over 3 years of age masha allah. potty trained. capable of proper conversations over manicure sessions.
and now also big enough for school alhamdulilah.
we did not look around too much for the school. all we needed was a preschool that will be good enough to prepare for a local school.
we started looking online for preschools. our criteria was simple:
1. river valley road so that pick and drop will be easy.
2. local singaporean management so that K will study in ‘local’environment rather than international so that it will be easy for her to adjust in primary school
3. fees. ofcourse.
after spending few days on phone and internet we finalized 3 preschools to visit and after visiting all 3 of them we finally chose Little Skoolhouse International for the following reasons:
1. friendly principal
2. owned by ntuc
3. fees is not too low but not too high as well
4. teachers seemed friendly and caring
5. children looked happy and well taken care of
so we are now done with registration. K’s uniform should be with us in a few days. we just need to buy a water bottle, a school bag and a small towel. and oh yea i need to order name tags.
because the countdown has begun already 🙂