A note from Helper Bee’s founder, Dr Tamara Bugembe
I struggle to be a functional human being during the miniature hormonal waves that visit me monthly, so I have the deepest respect for anyone who manages to keep a human being alive while also enduring the hormonal changes that women experience for up to a year after childbirth.
The few days of lethargy, lack of energy and mood instability I endure is nothing compared to what mothers with PND experience as they fight to be themselves again.
In setting up Helper Bees, I wanted to make sure that it was also a service which helped parents battling post-natal depression, in the tasks and areas most important to these families.
These are just a few of the ways that a Helper Bee can help a family with PND feel human again:
Laundry: It is hard to feel positive and motivated with a growing mound of laundry mocking you from the corner of the room. As time passes this pile will only grow and become more intimidating. Our Helpers can come and sort out your laundry over two visits, one to wash our way through the dirty pile, and another to iron and fold the dry clothes. Imagine coming home to the smell of fresh sheets!
Healthy meals: Though you can’t eat your way out of depression, having the right balance of minerals and food groups will help give you the energy you need to win the battle. Our Helpers can visit the supermarket for you, stacking your cupboards with nutritious foods. They can also help make home cooked, soul warming stews that you can freeze for later.
Declutter and clean: I thrive in organised chaos, but there are some people who feel unsettled and unhappy with the growing clutter that often comes with looking after a child. We can help you organise your belongings in a way that gives you a fresh new perspective.
Looking after your newborn: To win the battle against PND it is important to have time for yourself to explore and address your feelings, plan your attack and visit with those treating you. Knowing that the person looking after your newborn is experienced, trustworthy and discrete will go a long way in giving you peace of mind.
Health advice: PND can magnify and distort your concerns about your newborn. Our Helper Bees are a combination of qualified medical students, practicing and retired nurse, who understands newborns, can offer tips to make life easier; allowing you to focus on getting better.
If you think that you or a loved one may have Post-Natal Depression, please contact the helplines at MIND and PANDASFOUNDATION to speak to trained volunteers. Join the conversation about PND every evening this week (May 1-7th) at 8-9pm on ##maternalMHmatters and #PNDHour.