‘Being a victim of post-partum depression, I thought of throwing my baby from first floor’

Prachee Kulkarni, a media professional from Pune, suffered from a severe post-partum depression after delivering a baby girl. Though she loved her baby, her depression was driving her crazy and she had many moments when she wanted to kill her. Here, she shares how she received help at the right time and overcame it

Pune’s Prahcee Kulkarni shares her story of battling post-partum depression

Motherhood is supposed to be the happiest phase in a woman’s life. I did read the quotes and experiences shared by people that glorify motherhood. So, when I came to know that I was to be a mother too, the feelings I experienced couldn’t be described in words. Pregnancy was rather a rocky phase for me as I was hospitalised for six times in those nine months. But, I felt it was all worth the pain when I saw the tiny little face of my baby girl in operation theatre for the first time.

Only few days had passed while I was trying to cope with and adjust with her two-hour nap routine when she had to be rushed to a hospital for jaundice. This was the first time my baby was separated from me. Visiting the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) every two hours was becoming hectic for me with stitches still fresh.

After two days, doctors said she was fine and we could take her home.

Days passed by and then one day, we had to take her for another appointment with the doctor. My husband and I were on our way with our baby and when we reached a junction, I saw kids living on the streets either playing or begging or whiling away time with their mothers.

A thought consumed me. What if I leave my baby here?

How would she grow up? Will she survive? Will we be able to recognise her after a few years ago? There was a moment when I was about to get out of the car with her, but thankfully the signal turned green and we started moving.

It was that one moment when I realised what I was about to do and what I was thinking. I was left aghast as how could not believe my own mid and what it was thinking.

As I confronted myself, tears started rolling down and I couldn’t explain my husband what was making me cry.

This was not about it.

There was another moment a few days later when I was trying to put her to sleep pacing around the room, I thought of throwing her down from first floor.

I wondered what will happen to her? Will she suffer a few injuries or will she die?

I was stunned when the realisation dawned on me about what I was thinking.

My thoughts scared me. I handed over my baby to my husband that moment.

I realised something was wrong.

It got worse when in another instance she slipped down in her bath tub and was almost drowning. It took me a few seconds to realise that I had to rescue her.

One after the other, these thoughts of harming my own baby kept haunting me.

I was shocked. My husband suggested that I should discuss this with my gynaecologist. I got an appointment in the same week. I narrated the entire story to her. While I was sharing my story, I wondered if this is the outcome of the fact that I have nothing concrete to do in the whole day other than taking care of my baby.

My doctor suggested that I should resume work, but visit a psychiatrist before resuming. My obvious reaction was why a psychiatrist? Why do I need one?  But, keeping aside the confusion, I decided to pay heed to her suggestion and scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Dr Hamid Dabholkar and Dr Niket Kasar (both practicing psychiatrists) counselled me and for the first time I had learned that I was experiencing what is called as the post-partum depression.

I found out that many women experience post-partum depression post delivery. But, post-partum depression was a serious condition and a treatment was needed. I was also diagnosed with Vitamin B and D deficiency after undergoing a blood test and then began the counselling sessions, along with medication.

After six months of treatment, I am back to being normal.

Undoubtedly, I loved my baby from the day she came in my world, but the negative thoughts of getting rid of her kept crossing my mind.

Prachee Kulkarni with her daughter

Thankfully, I received help at the right time.

But, other mothers have been affected so severely that they have ended up killing their babies.

I urge new mothers to understand and realise what you are going through post delivery. I urge them to take help at the right time and save themselves.

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