Overcoming Post-Labour Challenges

Postpartum Challenges and how to Heal Mind,Heart and Soul

Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu

I really pray you are all doing well in life spiritually, mentally and physically by the Mercy of Allah.

Post birth is an extremely burdensome and demanding period for most women and often this topic is brushed under the carpet instead of being treated. I understand some women feel embarrassed or reluctant to admit they are suffering from PPD (Postpartum Depression) on whatever level. It is also looked down upon in some cultures hence leaving the new mother with feelings of extreme sadness, low energy, anxiety, crying episodes, irritability, and changes in sleeping or eating patterns.

All a new mother wants is to get her sanity back without the interference of any external factors to her already mentally challenged self and physically weak body. Therefore, next time please be considerate of the feelings of a new mother. Try and be emphatically mindful of what you utter as her mental state is weak after birth, resulting in difficulty to be optimistic. Even worse yet every minute remark could intensify the situation.

Depression doesn’t always mean you need to run to the doctors for anti depressants, it can be treated at home and most people with depression improve with good care, which may include changes made to ones life, talk therapy and medication. Talking to that one person whom you’ve always trusted could lift your mind’s burden immensely.

The reason I am writing this long winded artticle is to raise awareness among our women and men folk, young and the old.Sometimes this mood disorder can affect both the mother and father. The fact of the mater is that some of us women do not like to admit we are going through some form of depression. We are also unaware how easily it could be treated.

We have got to make some changes within ourselves which will result in positive changes in our wider communities. Let us stop suffering in silence. Feeling embarrassed to address this issue is not going to help yourself or others. Stop pretending everything is rosy and cry behind closed doors. Be a little open, sometimes the world and people you are surrounded by could be a beautiful place for you to start again inshaAllah. Being open and asking for help doesn’t make you a weak person nor does it make you a weak mother. We still have goodness in this world, you will find a shoulder to lean on, someone to give an ear, a kind, courteous, caring, good and empathetic soul. Talk to someone you trust and get help. Just remember the whole world is not working against you nor is it crumbling down because of your problems. You will get through this phase, what you need before seeking medical help is a very strong connection with Allah coupled with optimistic people, after this by all means go ahead and seek medical treatment.

Another important point I’d like to address at this mark is that nowadays we have countless number of contacts on our phones and social media but we have no real connection or communication with them. They are merely numbers, addresses or photos at our possession. We are all too busy with ‘me, myself and I’. Let us maintain our contacts by connecting with them, caring and spending quality time with them.

Here is a link to a test to assess whether you could be suffering from depression. Depression Self-Asessment Answer the questions based on how you’ve been feeling during the last two weeks.
The more symptoms someone has, the more likely they are to be depressed.

Now let us take a ride through my experience and how I overcame and picked myself up postpartum inshaAllah.

My second pregnancy was better in many ways compared to my first pregnancy subhanAllah. With that said I had more challenges during the second: I was living 2hrs away from my mum who was my rock during my first pregnancy and the rest of the family too, I was officially the ‘Lady of the House’ as my siblings and I like to call it ๐Ÿ™‚ . I had to cook, clean and deal with a 3 year old and not forgetting my husband who was patient with me, particularly with my cooking. MashaAllah TabarakAllah 😂as I was an amateur cook, never have I ever cooked a full meal prior to living alone. And there I was in my new house, new city, new people thankfully I had some relatives living in this new alien place 😅. Alhamdulillah ala kulli haal. My relatives and neighbour cooked for me somedays which I am ever so thankful for. Somedays I would be feeling so low and in pain all I said was ‘Ya Allah I haven’t cooked anything for my family’ and my Rabb knew exactly what I meant subhanAllah, later on my neighbour would knock on my door with food and I would be lost for words to comprehend the mercy of my Rabb and how quickly my duas were answered subhanAllah. Somedays I couldn’t eat any food and I would just eat a child’s portion of rice and curry and make dua to Allah to put barakah in it and suffice my hunger and subhanAllah those duas were answered too. Somedays we had takeaway which I hated, maybe my pregnancy taste buds were on some next level. My humble husband also tried cooking and lets just say he could do with some cookery classes, he tried to cook at the speed of a Ferrari wizzing by, you know ‘a bit of this, a bit of that, a dash of this and bam! Food is ready ya’ll’ lol 😂. Lets keep learning the art of cooking. It takes a lot of time and patience to put a delicious looking meal on the table that you actually would want to eat. Trust me I am still learning Alhamdulillah.

Now I hear your minds asking this question: “How did you cope with the first two to three months postpartum?”. Well my answer would be after my first child my connection with my Lord was very poor. I was moody and angry at every little thing. I had no reason to be because I was getting all the help I needed as I was living with my mum and siblings. Still my mind wasn’t content due to lack of patience and comprehending or accepting the Qadar of Allah. I strongly feel for this particular reason I was suffering for almost over a year. This was also a main reason I resigned from my job just 3 months post maternity leave. Stopped all my Islamic classes. I felt overwhelmed, things were crumbling inside of me. I had to wake up early even if I hadn’t slept properly the night before. To pray fajr was a burden as I felt my child is preventing me, how unwise and naive I was. It all felt a bit too much subhanAllah. I kept all this burried inside of me, thinking it will pass in a few weeks but weeks turned into months. However, after about a year I started recovering Alhamdulillah. I felt that there is more to life than just sleep (more like no sleep with a child), eat, drink, feeling stressed at every little thing, utilising time in the most unproductive way possible. At this point I said to myself if I intend to give my child the proper Tarbiya(nurturing) then I’ve got to get back to my productive self and be motivated inshaAllah. I set some goals for myself. Trust me when you put in the effort to change Allah will guide you through. If you keep thinking now ” I have a child that’s it everything else in my life has to be on pause because I have no time” this is not true, trust me it took me over a year to realise this subhanAllah.

Now let us compare my second pregnancy. Alhamdulillah after 3 years I had grown so much mentally because I gave myself the chance to change, to fix things and make things better instead of living in the past or feeling sorry for myself😅. I worked on and still working on building a strong connection with the Qur’an Alhamdulillah it has uplifted my heart, put peace and ease in my mind and soul during the pregnancy and after, needless to say that I still do get those days where I do not get to pick up the actual Mus-haf and recite but I try my best to keep up and be consistent,motivated and dedicated.

So my answer to what helped me through my healing process which resulted in a different and better inner self and better mental wellbeing during and after the pregnancy was non other than AL QUR’AN and it’s author ALLAH azza wajal. Truly amazing Alhamdulillah.

Now I know why I felt the way I did during the first pregnancy:

Allah (swt) says: โ€œ Deluded away from the Qurโ€™an is he who is deludedโ€ (al-thariyat, 51 verse 9)
Meaning that oneโ€™s sins will stand between them and the Qurโ€™an; as a block which will result in their distance from the Qurโ€™anโ€ฆ

I would highly encourage everyone to connect with Allah, and what better way is there to connect with Him than through His words/book Al Qur’an.

Start small, purify your intention and make Dua to Allah to aid you. If days pass by without the utterance of the words of Allah from a Mus-haf then try and recite from an electronic device, from memory, just recite any surah you know at anytime iA you will feel tranquillity descend upon your heart, mind and soul. You will feel a sweetness that will make you forget the bitterness and tiredness of Dunya

If you don’t know Tajweed try and attend a class, if you haven’tstarted memorising then start without delay. Or if you’ve neglected its revision then get back on it. My dear friends run away from the hustle and bustle of life and set aside few minutes from your time and indulge in this blessing and recite and prostrate to Allah and become near to Him.

Imam Ibrahim al Maqdisi advises his student Abbas saying; โ€œincrease in your recitation of the Qurโ€™an and never leave it; because your ease in life and seeking of what you desire is directly related to how much you reciteโ€

Have patience and persevere

Ibn Taymiyah said:
โ€œIโ€™ve never come across anything that feeds the mind and soul, protects the physical body and provides happiness as much as the lengthened looking in the book of Allah (meaning committed reciting)โ€

Finally, I ask Allah to grant us all ease in our affairs, may Allah be pleased with all the mothers and all women folk. May we all meet in Jannah with our families. Ya Allah grant us all a noble ending. Aameen Ya Rabbal Aalameen.

Honey and it’s Beauty Benefits -1

Honey and it’s Beauty Benefits -1

Allah mentions the benefit of Bees in the Qur’an in the following verses:

Surah An-Nahl, Verse 68:
ูˆูŽุฃูŽูˆู’ุญูŽู‰ูฐ ุฑูŽุจู‘ููƒูŽ ุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู†ู‘ูŽุญู’ู„ู ุฃูŽู†ู ุงุชู‘ูŽุฎูุฐููŠ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุฌูุจูŽุงู„ู ุจููŠููˆุชู‹ุง ูˆูŽู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุดู‘ูŽุฌูŽุฑู ูˆูŽู…ูู…ู‘ูŽุง ูŠูŽุนู’ุฑูุดููˆู†ูŽ

And your Lord inspired the bee, saying: “Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect.

Surah An-Nahl, Verse 69:
ุซูู…ู‘ูŽ ูƒูู„ููŠ ู…ูู† ูƒูู„ู‘ู ุงู„ุซู‘ูŽู…ูŽุฑูŽุงุชู ููŽุงุณู’ู„ููƒููŠ ุณูุจูู„ูŽ ุฑูŽุจู‘ููƒู ุฐูู„ูู„ู‹ุง ูŠูŽุฎู’ุฑูุฌู ู…ูู† ุจูุทููˆู†ูู‡ูŽุง ุดูŽุฑูŽุงุจูŒ ู…ู‘ูุฎู’ุชูŽู„ูููŒ ุฃูŽู„ู’ูˆูŽุงู†ูู‡ู ูููŠู‡ู ุดูููŽุงุกูŒ ู„ู‘ูู„ู†ู‘ูŽุงุณู ุฅูู†ู‘ูŽ ูููŠ ุฐูŽูฐู„ููƒูŽ ู„ูŽุขูŠูŽุฉู‹ ู„ู‘ูู‚ูŽูˆู’ู…ู ูŠูŽุชูŽููŽูƒู‘ูŽุฑููˆู†ูŽ

“Then, eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord made easy (for you).” There comes forth from their bellies, a drink of varying colour wherein is healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.

Honey is considered among one of the most useful food. Itโ€™s usefulness is not only limited to your internal health. But it is also very useful when your external beauty comes into question

Some benefits of Honey :

  • The anti-bacterial properties of honey soothes inflammation, defend the skin from irritants and germs
  • It contains anti-oxidants which slow the aging process.
  • It helps to open up and unclog the pores
  • It protects your skin from harmful UV rays of sun and increases the skinโ€™s ability to rejuvenate.
  • It brightens the dull and damaged skin.
  • The enzymes present in honey promote healthy skin cell production and provide natural glow to the skin.

How to use Honey for uneven skin tone:

1. Honey with Yogurt

The lactic acid present in yogurt lightens the skin while honey soothes the skin and moisturizes the skin.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of fresh yogurt and 1 1/2 tablespoon of honey.
  • Stir well and apply this mixture over the skin.
  • After 10 โ€“ 15 minutes, wash it off with water.
  • Or you can also add 1 tablespoon of oatmeal and follow the same process.
  • Continue this process daily.

My experience: I have tried this facial pack (honey and yogurt) and would highly recommend it to others. It is ideal for dry skin, it smoothes and gives a gentle glow to the skin.

Also remember as with anything consistency and a balanced diet is essential in having an effect for long-term. I have yet to see the long-term results and with the addition of oatmeal.

My Labour story

Assalamu alaikum.

Bismillah

Fasten your seatbelts and enjoy a bit of ranting at the start as I feel its needed. Honesty may help others, revealing how I truly felt and how I overcame and back to life may help mothers who are made to feel guilty for not being adaptable to motherhood as soon as they concieve and even sooner after birth.

Yes! labour is scary and traumatising and you’ll say to yourself I’m never having another baby, eventually you get over it and forget the hardship you went through.

No! everything doesn’t get rosy between you and your newborn afterwards, you will begin to wish you hadn’t complained during pregnancy. Now you can say goodbye to sleep and say hello to zombie face, with an almost broken back and you begin to think your back bone is melting away, eyes may fall off anytime and your neck too. Yep you guessed it I wasn’t the most patient of person in my early 20s (that’s making me sound so old 🤣), age really was just a number with a mentality of a teen, outwardly I may have portrayed myself as otherwise. Almost forgot to mention to top everything off you will be greeted with mum bashing aunties😑, this is in almost every culture you just have to learn to nod your head up and down or left and right and try not to take it to heart but it could have an effect on your mood and make you feel like a bad mother, so long as you have a handful of positive people around, you will get through it inshaAllah.

It was 3 days into my maternity leave from work when my water broke, trust me I had no idea what or how it was going to happen and don’t worry if you are pregnant for the first time, you will know when your water breaks inshaAllah.

I was admitted to hospital on the evening of Friday and gave birth Saturday morning, labour was just over 11 hours.😅 It really was a testing time for me, each time I had my contractions I would feel a little angry would think in mind to shout “why Ya Allah, why?” Thinking back at it now I am so thankful to Allah for protecting my tongue of uttering such unpleasant and regrettable words that do not befit Allah’s majesty and wisdom. You really are not yourself when you’re in labour! SubhanAllah. As soon as I had the baby my head was spinning and felt gassed and found things funny due to the pain relif I took ‘Gas and air’ to be precise. I rememeber laughing when they had to transfer me to the wards on a wheelchair, and my husband looked worried and I was thinking why is he not laughing lol. After things settled down and evening time approached, that meant my husband had to leave I rememeber trying look all well so I could be discharged and run home. My goodness I hate hospitals and appointments, unfortunayely they had to keep me in over night due to losing too much blood. I also tried to make my husband hide behind the curtains so he could stay with me. I felt very emotional that he couldn’t stay with me. Anyway I was alone the night with very little sleep and feeding most of the time, a midwife out of kindness offered to keep the baby for a while for me to get some sleep, that shook me and I froze and replied politely “it is ok I am fine” and I wasn’t fine I was desperate to sleep. I thought to myself no way am I letting my baby leave my sight.

Fast forward to next day and due to be discharged we were elated to just get out of the hospital, being in a hospital could make me become depressed lol. The first week was a nightmare subhanAllah baby cried all night, I cried with the baby too and all 3 of us were up most of the night and we were in and out of hospital due to the weight of baby. Nonetheless Alhamdulillah we got through it with the help of Allah, my husband and family. It didn’t get any easier after that, challenges were kept being thrown on to my plate, I had patience over some of the challenges and would over react at others.

Now after 3 and a half years I absoluey love and adore my little girl. Motherhood is challenging, emotional and special, most of all it is important to realise our children are an Amana (trust) from Allah.

Surah Luqman, Verse 14:
ูˆูŽูˆูŽุตู‘ูŽูŠู’ู†ูŽุง ุงู„ู’ุฅูู†ุณูŽุงู†ูŽ ุจููˆูŽุงู„ูุฏูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ุญูŽู…ูŽู„ูŽุชู’ู‡ู ุฃูู…ู‘ูู‡ู ูˆูŽู‡ู’ู†ู‹ุง ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ูฐ ูˆูŽู‡ู’ู†ู ูˆูŽููุตูŽุงู„ูู‡ู ูููŠ ุนูŽุงู…ูŽูŠู’ู†ู ุฃูŽู†ู ุงุดู’ูƒูุฑู’ ู„ููŠ ูˆูŽู„ููˆูŽุงู„ูุฏูŽูŠู’ูƒูŽ ุฅูู„ูŽูŠู‘ูŽ ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุตููŠุฑู

And We have enjoined on man (to be dutiful and good) to his parents. His mother bore him in weakness and hardship upon weakness and hardship, and his weaning is in two years give thanks to Me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.

Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal. And surely after every hardship comes ease.

Surah Al-Inshirah, Verse 5 -6:
ููŽุฅูู†ู‘ูŽ ู…ูŽุนูŽ ุงู„ู’ุนูุณู’ุฑู ูŠูุณู’ุฑู‹ุง

So verily, with the hardship, there is relief,
ุฅูู†ู‘ูŽ ู…ูŽุนูŽ ุงู„ู’ุนูุณู’ุฑู ูŠูุณู’ุฑู‹ุง

Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).

Moral of my story is that whatever you go through during pregnancy and few years into motherhood you will get through it inshaAllah, just try and be optimistic and realise everything is in Allah’s hands, therefore all connections with Allah must be strong to feel ease in your mind, heart and soul. Trust me it helps a lot subhanAllah. I don’t know what I would do without Allah and Islam in my life. Alhamdulillah thank you Ya Rabb.

Stay tuned to find out how I picked myself up and came back to my senses post birth inshaAllah.

May Allah grant us patience, happiness, steadfastness and allow us to raise righteous and pious children. Aameen

Beginning of Motherhood

It was May 2014, sitting at my work desk and having cravings for certain foods, particularly pickled limes ( if you are from the Idian subcontinent region you know exactly what that means). It was a mouth watering moment and I couldn’t wait to get home to have some. As I was leaving I had a conversation with one of my colleagues who was a Phlebotomist and offered to do a pregnancy test. As the results were emerging on the dipstick, feelings of mixed emotions flooded my mind. However, one thing was for sure that deep down I wasn’t ready to be pregnant, and to my shock the results came out positive. Tears started to flow down. They weren’t happy tears as people are expected to shed upon such occasion. I was confused and terrified as there was no going back.

Pondering over this incident has made me realise how true is the Ayat of the Qur’an :

ูˆูŽุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุฎูŽูŠู’ุฑู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุงูƒูุฑููŠู†ูŽ

And Allah is the Best of the planners.
[Surah Al-Anfal, Verse 30]

I really wish at that time I had these positive thoughts of Allah and to just accept Qadar or for someone to have been there to just remind me of Allah and His plans subhanAllah! Sometimes we are there to comfort others but fail to remind them of Allah in the process, for reminding them of Allah is true comfort.

When I came home the first thing I did was call my husband who was at work, how I wish I went down in Sajdah Shukr instead and then made the call. However, I was crying on the phone to my husband and told him I do not feel ready to be pregnant yet, his reply was Alhamdulillah I am happy, we should be happy, why are you crying?. My emotions were running wild. As time passed I was settling into my pregnancy but I cannot say I was ecstatic about having a baby.

The reason I am sharing this incident with you all is because I wanted to emphasise on one solution that I strongly feel could have helped me get through my pregnancy, labour and post labour swiftly (Labour story coming soon) no way am I saying it would have been easy but it would have put me in a mental, spiritual and physical contentment. That solution is being in a good state of Iman and connecting with Allah from the bottom of your heart.

ุงู„ู‘ูŽุฐููŠู†ูŽ ุขู…ูŽู†ููˆุง ูˆูŽุชูŽุทู’ู…ูŽุฆูู†ู‘ู ู‚ูู„ููˆุจูู‡ูู… ุจูุฐููƒู’ุฑู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุฃูŽู„ูŽุง ุจูุฐููƒู’ุฑู ุงู„ู„ู‘ูŽู‡ู ุชูŽุทู’ู…ูŽุฆูู†ู‘ู ุงู„ู’ู‚ูู„ููˆุจู

Those who believe and whose hearts find rest in the remembrance of Allah, Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.

[Surah Ar-Rad, Verse 28]

Being pregnant again after 3 years has given me time to ponder over the past and figure things out and pick myself up. I have learnt a lot from my mistakes during the period of my first pregnancy and post pregnancy. One lesson learnt is that pregnancy is a test, labour is a bigger test and post labour including raising that child is even bigger test.

To all my sisters who are already mothers or yet to be mothers, I ask Allah to keep us steadfast on the straight path and never to lose our connection with Him. Aameen

Also remember:

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. [Surah Baqara, Verse 286]

Remember the Aakhirah

Remember the Aakhirah

Remember the Aakhirah

Assalamu alaikum,
Bismillah

I wrote this piece of writing as a motivator for myself at a time when I was feeling my Iman had reached rock bottom and every trivial comment made by others impacted me specifically regarding Niqab. Alhamdulillah I came back to my senses and realised we are not living for people and this world rather we are living for Allah and the hereafter.

To all my lovely sisters who are going through so much hardship merely because you cover to please Allah, just remmeber you are worth it, you are worth more than what others make you feel. Just keep going forward and not backward remember there is light at the end of the tunnel (i.e. Akhirah). And to those sisters who find it difficult to dress in a way that is pleasing to Allah , I ask Allah to make it easy for you . Aameen Ya Rabb.

Be yourself though you maybe among the few to enter Jannah without reckoning for upholding the teaching of Hijab to the highest level.

If you find this post relatable and of benefit please share and make Dua for me and the Unmah. Intention of this post was to encourage and remind one another and not directed at anyone or to hurt or offend anyone. May Allah keep us united in goodness. Aameen.

Remember the Aakhirah

O my dear sister who covers herself for the sake of Allah.
O my dear sister who wishes to emulate the mothers of the believers.
O my dear sister who intends to attract only her husband’s eyes.
O my dear sister who loves to cover simply because of Her Creator’s command.
O my dear sister who covers to ease the ones with difficulty in lowering the gaze.
O my dear sister who covers wishing and dreaming of what awaits in the next life.
O my dear sister who covers in hope that this act of obedience will be her ticket to Jannah.
O my dear sister who covers with the intention of not attracting unnecessary attention.
O my dear sister who covers with the intention to save another man’s relationship with his wife as she knows that jeopardising another family’s happiness is the work of the devil. She knows that the family is the foundation unit of the community and if this unit is broken, it would be detrimental to the wider community.

O my dear sister who covers and realises that she is worth more than just an object, she does not wish to be another man’s eyecandy.
O my dear sister whom at times feel left out and discouraged from those around her and told to be “normal”, to dress up, to stop dressing in boring old black, to live it up.

O my dear sister do not be discouraged.
O my dear sister remmeber you are dressing the way you do to please Allah and Him alone and you want to reach the highest possible status of modesty in front of Allah. Those who feel that it is too extreme or abnormal, just let them know normal isn’t what you perceive to be normal rather it is what is accepted by Allah. If you are unable to carry out an act of worship to the highest level of perfection then do not call someone who is capable an extreme.
Some women love to get attention from men, they crave for this. My dear sister have some dignity, self respect and know you are worth more than your looks.
Those who seek this world will get what they seek for and those who seek the hereafter will have everlasting bliss. Upon an occasion our mother Aysha(ra) said to a woman who was wearing perfume “it is for you in this world and for us in the hereafter”. SubhanAllah!

JazakumAllahu khayran
Umm Haya
08/04/2017

 

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