Postnatal depression on the rise in Singapore: an urgent call to action
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition that affects 10 to 15 per cent of new mothers, and is increasing alarmingly in Singapore. PPD, characterized by symptoms of severe depression or anxiety after childbirth, is a serious health concern. Despite the widespread prevalence of this condition, troubling gaps in awareness and available support remain. This often results in underdiagnosis and delayed treatment, further exacerbating the problem.
Personal struggles and public health
From first-time mothers to postpartum women, women report feelings of hopelessness, emotional distress, and physical symptoms such as changes in sleep and appetite. The effects of PPD extend beyond the individual. Untreated, her PPD can severely impact the mother-infant bond and potentially jeopardize the child’s development. However, research by Women’s Mental Wellness Services at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital reveals that only one in six women seek professional help if they experience symptoms of PPD. became.
Voices from the field
The personal accounts of women like Kin and Pia, who battled PPD for more than two years and six months, respectively, highlight the hurdles new mothers face. Both women ignored the symptoms until they reached a critical point. Their stories, while sad, are unfortunately far from unique and highlight the urgent need for community support and increased public awareness.
Community support and medical intervention
The prevalence of PPD is increasing in Singapore and requires a collective response. Doctors, relatives, workplaces and entire communities need to come together to raise awareness and provide accessible medicines and support. Early detection and intervention can significantly improve the prognosis of women with PPD, protecting not only their well-being but also the health and development of their children.