Post-Adoption Depression

29 August 2012

I have a friend who struggled for many years to have a baby. She devoted her time to destressing as she embarked on many rounds of IVF. She gave up her high-pressured job, gave up her love of horseriding, became a stay-at home-mom-in-waiting. Heartbreakingly nothing happened after many rounds of IVF. So her and her husband decided to adopt. Amazingly and wonderously she was a mom. 

Less than a month later she was back at work. I was very puzzled by this and many other things. Like the fact that she never seemed to really bond with her son. Whenever I saw him out, he was with his dad and as his mom had taken up horseriding again and did that every Saturday. She had waited so long for her son, she was financially set to be a SAHM and then, when he was finally here, it looked like she couldn't wait to get away from him.

It was only after listening to Sharon Van Wyk describe how she felt after adopting Ava-Grace that it all fell into place. My friend was clearly struggling with Post-Adoption Depression. And unlike Post-Natal Depression, it was just unnoticed, undiagnosed, unacknowledged. I think we should find  a new word for this momentously life-changing time of having a newborn. That adjustment to a new, demanding houseguest is overwhelming to all new moms whether their babies were grown in their bellies or in their hearts.

We need to be able to be honest about how hard it is adjusting to a new version of your life no matter how much you longed for this happily ever after. After so many years of trying to have a baby, to then complain about how difficult it is to adjust to one in your life must be quite hard if not impossible. Please read Sharon's story on page 36 and visit her adoption support website: if you are a mom of an adopted child and battling with it all- you are not alone, none of us are.

And ofcourse this feeling of being overwhelmed with responsibility is tripled and quadrupled if yours was and early bird. Prem babies (also knows as preemies) are fighters from the get-go. As modern technology advances, so too does their chance of surviving. Read our special to find out exactly what to expect if you are still pregnant. You can never be too informed. 

On that note, please read up on the findings around BPA. I am usually an ostrich when it comes to doom and gloom stories. I don't want to know how everyday life endangers the future health of my kids but the BPA debate keeps raging. And while you will see from our bottle round-up BPA is no longer an issue in babay bottles in South Africa, it turns out that this harmful substance is pretty much inescapable. Again, knowledge is power though so read more on page 92 to find out how to minimise your and your family's exposure to this destructive chemical.

As for the rest of the mag: spring has sprung! I am off to stock my kids' cupboards with sorbet-coloured clothing and whip up a butternut lasagne (alright, I will supervise husband as he does that).

Enjoy the issue everyone...

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