TV host Jaymee Ong after giving birth: "I lost all confidence and I felt so incapable"

28 November 2015 / 10 months 3 weeks ago

*Instagram: Jaymee Ong's Instagram, Facebook

Charlene Chua
The New Paper
Nov 24, 2015

She suffered from mild baby blues after giving birth to her daughter five years ago, so Jaymee Ong was confident she knew what she would be dealing with her second baby.

But severe postpartum depression struck just three days after she gave birth to her son, Harrison, two months ago. It got so bad that at one point, she did not even want to pick him up.

"I was crying my eyes out. I lost all confidence and I felt so incapable," Ong, 36, told The New Paper yesterday. After she sought help, her condition has improved.

The Chinese-Australian host of AXN's EBuzz, who returned to work recently after maternity leave, agreed to recount her battle with the psychologically debilitating condition to create awareness of it.

Postpartum depression is nothing to be ashamed of and women who suffer from it should not be afraid to seek help, she said.

Ong, whose first-born, Juliet, is now five-years-old, said: "I want to stress that this is not me saying that I hate my baby or that I hate being a mum. I love being a mum, which was why I felt so much guilt when I was hit by depression."


Her emotional well-being hit rock bottom soon after her son's birth and the fast and intense downward spiral caught her off guard.

Said Ong: "I kept thinking, I should be able to handle this, I've done it before. But I couldn't control the way I felt. I felt like I had affected my family badly because I was so scared that I couldn't handle anything to do with my baby."

Even with her daughter, Ong said it took it took her three months to fall in love with the child.

She added: "Some women say that they have this amazing connection with their babies right after they are born, but I didn't feel that at all.

"I thought I would love my son right away. When I felt detached, I was devastated. I think it is because I didn't get much (feedback) from him when he was just born. Nowadays, he's starting to smile and he responds to the sound of my voice."

Ong, who regained her pre-pregnancy body just weeks after she gave birth through daily exercises, is looking forward to seeing Harrison open up more.

She added that while her husband, Australian electrical engineer Matthew Heath, 36, was understanding about her depressive state, she knew she had to seek help for the sake of her family and herself. Two weeks after Harrison's birth, Ong went to a psychiatrist who prescribed her anti-depressants. She declined to reveal the name of the medication because she does not want to promote the drug to mums. "

Taking medication was a personal choice because I had it (postpartum depression) bad. I'm not ashamed that I sought the treatment I needed and I do feel 1,000 per cent better.

"Women don't talk about having baby blues because they don't want to seem like failures, but they have to do whatever it takes to feel better. After all, as a woman, being a mum is the biggest thing you'll ever do in your life."

This article was first published on November 24, 2015.
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