Husband says Lee-Ann Liebenberg suffering from Postpartum depression after affair accusations

Johannesburg – Model Lee-Ann Liebenberg was said to be suffering from Postpartum depression, by her husband Nicky Van Der Walt last week.

This after the model had a social media meltdown, accusing her husband of having an affair on social and having to publicly apologise to the woman she pointed out.

Liebenberg deleted her social media accounts but did not confirm if she was indeed suffering from the condition.

Celebrity Melanie Bala opened earlker this year, up about her own struggles after childbirth in 2011.

She said is what to let other moms know they are not alone when they are diagnosed with postnatal depression.

“The shame. The stigma of saying: I don’t know if I’m enjoying this motherhood thing, as much as I’m supposed to. As a new mom, I envied the women who made it seem effortless. Always well put together. Babies looking cherubic. I was a mess,” she said in a tweet. She also said in radio interview that every new mom is exhausted because little babies are a lot of work, but at some point you kind of start to feel resentful about the baby being there and the guilt that comes with it.


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Another young mother, Tracey, who asked for surname not be published, said although she can’t speak on Liebenberg’s behalf, she can relate to feeling irrational.

The 30-year-old Chartered accountant, from Johannesburg, said when she had given birth at the age of 23, she found out her boyfriend was cheating and had feelings of killing her own child, when her baby was a few days old as a means of punishing her boyfriend.

She said that her older sister helped seek professional help through the South African Anxiety and Depression Group.

Tracey explained that after attending therapy she learnt that under Postpartum Depression there is also Postpartum psychosis – where you progress from irritability to irrationality quite rapidly, experience mental confusion, hallucinations and threatening behaviour.

According to local expert, Doctor Frans Korb, this condition affects about one in a thousand women, most often in the first four weeks after delivery and requires immediate medical attention and usually hospitalisation.

Mental Health Care Practitioner Dr Rene Le Roux -who specialises in Postpartum depression describes the condition as a complex mix of emotional, behavioural and physical changes that occur in some women after giving birth. She said it is form of major depression that starts within four weeks of delivery.

Korb explains that Postpartum blues is different and is experiences by most women after giving birth.

The baby blues, he says, is a weepy, irritable, episode lasting several days after delivery; it goes away on its own and rarely requires more than a few days of rest and support.

Postpartum depression on the other hand lies somewhere in between postpartum blues and psychosis.

Women experience feelings of crying, irritability, apathy, anxiety, lack of appetite, inability to sleep and highly impaired concentration and decision-making.

Experts say it typically begins in the first three months after birth and that help should be sought if it doesn’t improve after two weeks.

Mental Health Care Practitioner Dr Rene Le Roux who specialises in Postpartum depression said In addition to chemical changes, the psychological and social changes of having a baby create an increased risk of depression.

She warns to look out for these symptoms: Difficulty sleeping, decreased sex drive, fatigue, frequent mood changes, appetite changes, depressed mood, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, thoughts of death or suicide or thoughts of hurting someone else.

“If you are feeling depressed after your baby’s birth, you may feel embarrassed or reluctant to admit it. However, if you do experience any symptoms of postpartum depression, it is important to call your doctor as soon as possible. Untreated postpartum depression can be dangerous for both new mothers and their babies. Postpartum depression can be treated with therapy and medication.

Emily Kark, the woman accused by Lee-Ann Liebenberg of having an affair with her husband released a statement, labelling claims “baseless, dishonest and defamatory”.

“Ms Kark accepts the apology and retraction of Liebenberg, regards this matter as being finalised and will not be making any statements to the media. She is now putting this incident behind her and returning to her life with her family,” the statement read.

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