Oct 19, 2012

Postnatal baby blues

Have you just had a baby and are feeling tired, out of sorts and don't know what is wrong? It is not unusual to feel like that after having a baby. Everyone is different and some women feel a little down and others feel exuberance and joy. You have just gone through the lamaaz classes, built up an excitement, had the baby and now it is all over. Do not despair. Your feelings of anxiety may persist for a few days but will slowly dissipate and give you your life back. After all you have been through a huge experience, and not only physically, but emotionally.

Do not stress
If you are breastfeeding your baby and feel you do not have enough milk and worry about it,or you have enough breast milk but your nipples are sore; these are all things which lead to feeling helpless and depressed. It is normal to feel a little blue; it is not normal to become so depressed that you neglect the baby. At that point you have to seek help and follow the instructions of a doctor. Do not become angry and tell her to stop crying and pull herself together.

Be patient
Women who have just given birth are faced with many challenges; their hormones are out of whack, their emotions fluctuate, they cry easily and think they will never cope. If she wants to cry, let her do so. Encourage her to talk about how she feels. Postnatal depression is dark and unpleasant and the illness affects about 10% of mothers who have recently given birth. The onset of depression usually starts when the mother has been discharged from the medical facility. 

Get the right help
What you can do for your friend: encourage her to talk and express her feelings about the baby. If her feelings persist, suggest she speak to a district nurse or a friend. Do not rush for the bottle of tranquilizers but work through her fears by listening and talking about it. Most times it is just plain panic and the fear disappears when the person feels safe. Safe can mean different things for different people. As mothers we have all been there. When someone suffers from depression, it is hard to be around them. Help your friend get the right diagnosis.


Cape Town - the city of many cultures

If you are traveling to Cape Town for the first time you will be struck by its beauty, language and culture. People are friendly and helpful and the city is a smorgasbord of nationalities. Table Bay is where the first boatload of settlers and slaves landed and Table Mountain is the first thing you see when you arrive. It is said that when the mist hovers over the mountain the cloth is being laid. Situated at the southern tip of Africa is the bushy Reserve where the two oceans meet; a spectacular sight and open to visitors who can dine in a restaurant or take walks along many pathways.  There are baboons walking around freely and you are advised not to feed them.  There is a lot of history, romance and mystery about the early Cape.

The people of the Cape:  South Africans like barbecuing and camping and outdoor activities of which there are many. They like boerewors – thick sausage grilled over a fire – and also love their beer and the Springboks, the national rugby team. For fun and adventure there is bungee jumping as well as a cable car coming down Table Mountain; this is a huge attraction with places to walk and ride a bike. Traveling north from Cape Town you can book into a resort in the Cedarberg mountain range to see the rock paintings of the early peoples of the Cape – apricot-skinned San in loin cloths on display for tourists – and spend a weekend driving around in the jeep looking for wild animals. These people are known as the San and the word bushmen is not used. The city is inhabited by people from all walks of life – Muslims, Christians, Jews, Indians, African Traditional, and there are eleven languages spoken. Because of its beaches and great climate the city is favored over Johannesburg.

Sights and sounds: The first and most remembered site to visit is Robben Island where the former president Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 27 years. The small cell where the president spent most of his life is on display and entails a boat ride to the small island. South Africans love music which includes kwaito, and rap. The city has its favorite comedians and artists and is the birth place of writers like the acclaimed JM Coetzee and Nadine Gordimer. Cape Town is one of the few places in the world where the city, the desert and the sea are within driving distance. As far as cuisine the city has some fine hotels, restaurants and eating places and visitors can have a new taste bud experience in a township with some delicious pap and meat. Cape Town caters to all cultures, wants and needs and the city rocks.