Depression is real for a new mum, says Mandira Bedi in an exclusive interview

Depression is real for a new mum, says Mandira Bedi in an exclusive interview

"Postpartum depression is for real. I had it for 6 weeks. I did not fall in love with my baby the moment I saw him and it took me a while to adjust to this new change."

She's an anchor, an actress, a designer and a mother and she handles all her roles with elan. We're talking about Mandira Bedi, who's known for quite a few firsts in her life.

Whether it was being a female anchor in a field that was dominated by men to doing a TV show Shanti that saw a new beginning for the television era to having a baby after 12 years of marriage, Mandira Bedi has broken stereotypes and how!

theindusparent caught up with the spunky celeb mum and had an exclusive chat with her on life, motherhood and her five-year-old son Vir. Excerpts from the freewheeling interview:

On balancing motherhood and work

It’s a little different for me than other working mums as I don't have a 9 to 5  job. Whenever I am in the city, which is about 2-3 days in a week, my time belongs to my son. I wake up in the morning and drop him to school and pick him up from school as well.

 

On the days I am not in town, as my work involves a lot of travel, I still make sure that he has eaten and he slept on time and other such activities. But on days when I am in the city, I am a full-time mum. Whatever time I have with him I make sure that we spend quality time together and do good stuff together.

Has motherhood changed her

Motherhood has a lot to offer. It makes you more patient and teaches you about unconditional love and gives you a new perspective towards your own parents. It makes you look at your parents in a new light as well.

The parenting style she follows

In my whole family, I am the only one who is the disciplinarian. My husband is really soft. Whenever he throws a tantrum or when he reacts negatively to stuff, I am the one who has to be strict and get things moving. My husband is really soft on him and would let things go.

I am the one who sets the rules as to what to do. For example, some time back for a brief period he had lunch only when he was on the Ipad and that’s when I decided that it was enough. Come what may, I made sure that there was no television or Ipad during meal times, unless of course when he was unwell. So, these are certain rules that I set, which other people around me try to break, but I don’t let them.

 

..From when my little tyke was a few months old!! ????????

A photo posted by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on

Vir also knows that he can’t get away with stuff with me. He tries his luck with other people, but not with me.

Continue reading to know more about what Mandira dealt with postnatal depression and other problems!

On equal parenting

Because I travel so much I have to leave Vir in the capable hands of my husband. But there is a rule that we follow as he also travels a lot for shoots and meetings to various cities. So when he travels, I don’t travel and when I travel, he does not and takes his meeting at his office in our bungalow.

Like he was travelling last week and I also had three different events in Delhi during that time. But I made three separate trips to Delhi back and forth as we don’t like to leave him alone. And in worst-case scenarios when I can’t avoid travelling, then I take him with me.

Even like for the 2015 world cup which was for 6 weeks I made sure that I was in Delhi for three days and in Mumbai for 2 days. I did all that up and down so that I can be with him.

On a free Sunday

And I love you, my A-Team. ????????❤️????

A photo posted by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on

We go for a swim, have lunch at the club and sometimes just laze around in the house. There’s swimming, then there are these play areas that we go to.

We spend a lot of time together, but I also give him sometime to be. He enjoys lego a lot. We have two dogs so we like to play with the dogs. And in the evenings I take him to the park.

Hacks for working mums

Well, if there was a formula I would love to talk about it and say that this works. Frankly, there is no formula. Every working mother has to juggle work and motherhood and that juggle is a struggle for every mum, who’s working and has a kid.

Another visit to the Fire Station!! It's our favourite place to visit these days..

A photo posted by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on


Some days and weeks seem extremely easy and some days and weeks can be extremely harrowing. But that’s the way it is and that’s how things are in life! But there is a different between me and other working mums who have a 9 to 5 job. If I am out of town for two days of the week, the other five days I can devote to him completely.

However, there is a simple formula that I have. Whatever time I devote to myself, my fitness, or my store, or my saree label or other stuff, I do it after I drop him to school.

I drop him to school at 8 every morning and then I workout as fitness is very important to me. Then all my work related to the store or the label happens before I pick him up from school, which is at 2:30/3. He’s in school from 8 to 3 and I make very good use of that time and finish all my work and assignments then.

 

My boy and his older girlfriend, Blueberry. This love affair, I love!! ????

A photo posted by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on

Even when am going out with my friends or go out for dinner I do it after 9 when he is sleeping. 8:30 is his bedtime and I put him to sleep, too. So we have this whole story-telling session and a bedtime routine and I make sure that anything and everything comes after that.

Continue reading to know more about what Mandira dealt with postnatal depression and other problems!

Fitness and Diet secrets

There is no secret for this as well. You have to control your diet, you have to eat healthy and all the right things. This is no rocket science. I have never ever been to a nutritionist.

I had put on 22 kilos during my pregnancy, but I lost all of it within the first six months. This is one tip that somebody shared with me. If you wait too long to keep that weight on, it stays on. Because your body is not used to that weight. That is not your body’s base weight and you need to do something before your body adjusts to the new base weight.

I eat healthy. I am vegetarian. I do have my cheat days but I compensate on the days that follow. And I exercise 5-6 days a week.

Problems she faced as a new mum

As a new mum I faced one issue and I would like to talk about it--Postpartum depression is for real. I had it for 6 weeks. I did not fall in love with my baby the moment I saw him. I didn’t. It took me a while to adjust to this new change and it suddenly dawned upon me that my independence is gone, also because I had a baby after 12 years of marriage. I would think that I didn’t sign up for this.

Your hormones make you have these weird conversations with yourself and I was depressed and it lasted for about 6 weeks. I have no qualms in saying that I went through postnatal depression. You need the support of your family around you who know that such a thing exists.

On Breastfeeding

I also wanted to breastfeed my son like any other new mum and had thought that I would do it for 6 months. But to begin with the milk didn’t come. I had a C-section and not a natural birth. With natural delivery your body gets into gear and everything happens smoothly.

 

Visited The #Infiniti , the most amazing diving ship ever.. #TheAndamans

A photo posted by Mandira Bedi (@mandirabedi) on

But for me the breastmilk came late and the supply wasn’t as high as expected. While I made sure that I breastfed my baby for 10 months, but it was not exclusive breastfeeding right from the beginning. I was always supplementing as I never produced enough milk. I think this added to my depression.

However, that time my paediatrician told me that even with 1 tsp of breast milk you are giving him more immunity than a mum who is not giving anything or just top feed. Mine was a balance of breast milk and top feed.

New mums are under a lot of pressure for a lot of things and while you want to do all the right things, some things just don’t fall into place and that’s fine. The pressure shouldn’t get to you and you shouldn’t feel guilty about anything. This is for those who can’t produce breast milk. For those who can and are still not breastfeeding, I’d say you’re doing a disservice to your child that you are not even trying.

What's up on TV next

There are two shows in the pipeline. One of them has me as an anchor and another one is a web-series. I’ve got stuff lined up in June and July and for that perhaps I have to be in Delhi at that time.

But, I am happy that it is happening then as my son has his vacations and I can take him with me. I have been doing this since the time he was born.

I started attending corporate events six months after he was born and then I took him everywhere with me. So in his first two years he has travelled to Dubai to Singapore, US, Thailand, London to Hong Kong. He did a fair amount of travel with me. He has travelled a lot with me.

What's left for her to do

Well, I want to do an action role in a movie. That’s what’s left. I got pretty close to that when I did 24, but I really want to do an action role.

 

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[Images courtesy: Mandira Bedi Instagram account]
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