Postpartum depression main cause of baby dumping

Mental and emotional counseling for pregnant women are needed at hospitals.

26 November 2018 | Local News

Marcella Katjijova; Psychological Counselor; "I would like to see that social workers who are deployed at clinics give mental and emotional training to expectant mothers at least once a month.”

Adolf Kaure

There are many reasons which could trigger a mother to abandon her newborn baby.

Postpartum depression however counts as one of the main causes, says Marcella Katjijova, a psychological counselor at the ministry of labour and social welfare.

Postpartum depression is a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioral changes that happen in a woman after giving birth.

Katjijova said that contrary to popular belief, poverty does not drive women into neglecting their newly born babies.

“When the disease develops into postpartum psychosis, it includes symptoms like suicide. However, when the mother does not have the guts to commit suicide she then ends up throwing the baby away. There is a treatment for it which includes counseling and medication.”

She explained that clinics have training sessions on physical health but not on emotional and mental health.

“I would like to see that social workers who are deployed at clinics give mental and emotional training to expectant mothers at least once a month.”

Katjijova made these remarks in the wake of a newly born baby discovered by a taxi driver recently at house number 3587 in Tulinawa location Swakopmund during the early morning hours. This was the fifth incident of such nature recorded in the Erongo region in 2018.

Police detective chief inspector Daniel Gurirab said the abandoned baby which was wrapped up in a blanket and lying next to a dustbin, is alive and in a stable condition at the Swakopmund State Hospital.

“A criminal case has been opened and is under investigation with the gender based violence protection sub-division Erongo region. Anyone who can assist the police in tracing the mother of this baby can contact detective sergeant Kalipi on 081 619 6503 or detective chief inspector Gurirab on 081 233 3745.”

Sean Naude from the Namibian Marshal Rangers also made an urgent appeal to assist with locating the mother of the child.

“People are saying we should just leave her alone. Instead of her leaving the baby outside the hospital, she could have just said she is not able to take care of the baby and there could have been help offered. If there is anyone who has information or knows anyone who was highly pregnant in the area please call us on 081 201 0821.”

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