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Postpartum

Postpartum Depression Support: List of SG-Based Resources

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Welcoming a new baby into the world is a journey filled with joy, challenges, and sometimes, unexpected emotional hurdles. One such challenge that many mothers face, yet often goes unspoken, is postpartum depression (PPD).

While I was fortunate not to suffer from PPD myself, my journey through IVF and pregnancy was far from easy, teaching me the critical importance of having the right support. This realization prompted me to gather all the essential resources for postpartum support, ensuring they were right at my fingertips should I need them.

Since I’ve already done the necessary research for myself, I hope it can be put to use for the wider good – for other fellow mothers in Singapore. Here’s a compilation of Singapore-based resources for anyone seeking support with PPD. Don’t forget to bookmark this during your pregnancy or send this to someone (or their partner) you think will need it!

Understanding Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that happen in some women after giving birth. It’s more severe than the “baby blues,” which is a brief period of mood swings, anxiety, and sadness that many new mothers experience.

In Singapore, the prevalence of PPD is a growing concern, with significant numbers of new mothers experiencing these challenging symptoms. Recognizing these signs early and seeking prompt help is crucial for the well-being of both mother and child.

Postpartum Depression Symptoms

Trust me, you don’t want to let signs of postpartum depression get swept under the rug until it’s too late. Make sure you learn and recognize these symptoms in preparation for the postpartum period so you can identify it when it happens.

Symptoms of PPD can manifest in different individuals differently, but often include:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety, or emptiness
  • Feeling overwhelmed or unable to care for the baby
  • Irritability or anger
  • Withdrawal from loved ones
  • Doubting ability to care for the baby or feeling no connection to the baby
  • Thoughts of harming oneself or the baby

Alternatively, use this Postnatal Depression Self Assessment Tool by Healthhub Singapore to identify whether you (or your partner/friend) should seek further assessment from a doctor.

Seeking Help In SG for Postpartum Depression

So you have identified that you are somewhere on the scale of postpartum depression and want to seek help for yourself or your loved one, but don’t know how to go about it. Here’s a few different options you can consider depending on your requirements.

1) Professional Healthcare Resources

Primary Care Physician or Gynae

Depending on your comfort level, your first step can be to discuss your feelings with your general practitioner (GP) or obstetrician. They would have a better picture of your general medical history, and can provide an initial assessment before referring you to mental health specialists if needed

In my case, I raised PPD as a potential issue with my gynae in my 3rd trimester so he could get a referral ready for me in case I required an urgent appointment with an in-house doctor.

Public Health Institutions:

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH)

National University Hospital (NUH)

  • Services offered: Their Women’s Emotional Health Service (WEHS) provides personalised care and support for women during pregnancy and postpartum (up to a year).
  • Contact: 6772 2037 / wehs@nuhs.edu.sg
  • (Mondays – Fridays: 8.30am to 5.30pm; Not available on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays)

Punggol Polyclinic

  • Services offered: Their Integrated Maternal and Child Wellness Hub is a new programme (partnered with KKH and Temasek Foundation) to support mothers and children.
  • Contact: 6643 6969 / punggolpolyclinic@singhealth.com.sg

Private Practice Specialists:

If you prefer seeking help at a private practice for quicker intervention, these are some practices that offer postnatal depression therapy/ counselling. Do note I’ve not used any of these services myself, so make sure you do your own research.

If you know of other specialists who offer such services, please kindly drop us an email at hello@mummylist.com to have it added to this list!

2) Community Resources & Informal Support Groups

Non-Profit Organizations and Charities:

Clarity Singapore

3) Hotlines (Not PP Depression Specific)

While there aren’t many PP Depression specific hotlines available in Sg, these other emergency & mental health hotlines are extremely helpful too in times of stress and distress.

  • Babes Pregnancy Crisis Support: 6206 6641 (24h hotline) / 3235 1351 (24h WhatsaApp)
  • Crisis Triage: 93239345 (Text or WhatsApp only)
  • Samaritans of Singapore (SOS) Hotline: 1767 (24h suicide hotline)
  • Institute of Mental Health’s Helpline: 6389 2222 (24h hotline)
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health Helpline: 1800 283 7019

How I Prepared Myself During My Pregnancy for PPD

As an naturally anxious person, I decided to proactively plans before giving birth to ensure if I did suffer from PPD, I would have the necessary resources at my fingertips. Here were some of the things I did:

  • Started prenatal counselling with Clarity SG to mentally prepare myself for the challenges to come and learn how to deal with anxiety
  • Raising up the next steps for PPD with my gynae during the 3rd trimester
  • Reading up about PPD and raising awareness with my husband – sending him the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale to help track my mental wellness postpartum
  • Joining online communities of supportive mothers (not related to PPD)
  • Compiling a list of potential resources that might be helpful (now this list)

I found that discussing the possibility of postpartum depression openly helped the people around me learn how to better support me on my postpartum journey. I would highly encourage more new mothers to do so as well!

Make Maternal Mental Health A Priority Today!

For anyone reading this, whether you’re a new mother, a partner, a family member, or a friend, know that your role in supporting and encouraging the search for help can make all the difference. Together, we can break the silence around postpartum depression, fostering a community of care and resilience.

Remember, taking the first step towards seeking help is a leap towards recovery and happiness for both you and your baby. Let’s make maternal mental health a priority, ensuring a healthier, happier future for all mothers and their families.

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