Florence Leung’s husband has penned an emotional letter to those who may be suffering with postpartum depression, following the death of his wife in November.
The 32-year-old New Westminster mother was the subject of a massive search after she went missing in late October. It was soon revealed that Leung had been suffering from postpartum depression, causing concern among her loved ones.
Her body was found Nov. 16 off the coast of Bowen Island.
Police do not suspect foul play.
Now, her husband has taken to social media in a big way – calling attention to the mental and emotional struggles faced by new mothers.
“For all the new moms experiencing low mood or anxiety, please seek help and talk about your feelings. You are Not alone. You are Not a bad mother. Do not EVER feel bad or guilty about not being able to “exclusively breastfeed”, even though you may feel the pressure to do so based on posters in maternity wards, brochures in prenatal classes, and teachings at breastfeeding classes.”
He also speaks of the intense grief he experienced following Florence’s death, along with an update on their baby boy, saying he’s smiling and laughing often.
“It felt like half a year had passed since that day, but in fact it had only been 2 months. I have been living in survival mode: living a day at a time, sometimes an hour at a time – exactly like many people taught me to do. Living at the moment is truly the only way to go through this at this stage. As the initial shock and emotional numbness slowly subsides, I’m experiencing more flashbacks of memories from our 6.5 years of happiness, and for now these memories tend to trigger pain and intense longing,” he says.
Postpartum depression (PPD) is a condition that may begin during pregnancy, or at any time up to a year after the birth of a child.
A parent with postpartum depression may have frightening thoughts about harming themselves or the baby, not enjoy spending time with the baby, and have recurring thoughts that they are a bad parent, according to The Canadian Mental Health Association.
It is estimated anywhere from six to 13 per cent of moms in Canada experience the condition.