For one, the mother may have been suffering from postpartum psychosis – a rare, severe and dangerous form of postpartum depression that can be developed within the first three weeks following child birth – when she dumped the baby.
According to WebMD, “a woman with postpartum psychosis may feel detached from her baby and other people; have hallucinations involving smell, touch, sight, or hearing; have thoughts not based in reality (delusions); display bizarre behavior; or have urges to kill herself and her child or children.”
Postpartum psychosis is considered a psychiatric emergency requiring immediate hospitalization and treatment, the medical webside added.
Health experts argue that postpartum depression are caused by changes in a woman’s hormone levels after pregnancy. Apparently, any woman can get postpartum depression. But women who had “poor support from partner, family and friends” and those who had undergone a lot of stress have greater chances of getting it.
Gulf Air Mom, as we all know, is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) returning from Qatar where she worked as a domestic helper for four years.
Cases of verbal, physical and sexual abuse, other forms of maltreatment and even murder, are widespread especially among domestic workers in the Middle East.
OFW watchdog Migrante-Middle East attests to the deplorable conditions suffered by Filipino women in the region.
John Leonard Monterona, Migrante-ME Regional Coordinator, cited ten (10) Filipinas in Saudi Arabia who were sexually abused and are now staying in an embassy run shelter with their children while awaiting repatriation.
“[The ten] are victims of sexual abuses by their employers, being in a deplorable condition working as domestic helpers, they run away, became pregnant and have given birth, and became illegal migrants whose work permits have expired,” Monterona said.
Gulf Air Mom could have possibly been raped while she was in Qatar. Rape, a very traumatic experience, may very well have triggered her postpartum depression.
So before calling Gulf Air Mom ‘heartless’, ‘criminal’ and before we demand that she be ‘shot on site,’ we must first at least understand that there really are horrors abroad that can push an OFW to commit unspeakable and atrocious acts.
Sure, dumping an innocent new born baby to the trash bin is wrong. But so is thoughtlessly and hastily condemning another person without even looking at the harsh realities that drove her to the brink.
Gulf Air Mom could also be a victim here. But why is she the only one being punished?
Pending the result of the investigation by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), we should refrain from throwing stones at the poor and obviously distraught mother.
Media too should stop fanning the flames of public anger even more by not turning this sad story into a ‘telenovela.’