Let’s talk about postnatal depression

Having a baby is hard work; the extreme changes your body goes through, the monumental changes to your life, the strain it can put on your relationships and budget, and as if that weren’t enough, you’re sleep deprived!

During the 1-2 weeks after the birth of your baby, it’s normal to experience mood swings, feel anxious, and be tearful. But what happens if these symptoms persist?

Postnatal depression is experienced by 10% – 20% of women and some men. Some of the signs you may experience can include:

  • loss of enjoyment in usual activities
  • loss of self-esteem and confidence
  • loss of appetite and weight
  • broken sleep (irrespective of baby)
  • sense of hopelessness and feelings of failure
  • frank suicidal thoughts or ideas
  • panic attacks
  • loss of libido
  • fears for the baby’s or partner’s safety or wellbeing.

New Mothers especially can tend to feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to appear as if they are happy and coping well. We want to reassure you that Postnatal depression is fairly common and can happen to anyone, particularly if you experience a stressor during pregnancy, labour or the early days of parenthood. It is not a sign of weakness or a sign that you aren’t a good parent. Symptoms can resolve with good support and effective psychological treatment. The support of your partner, family and friends is critical, reaching out to those around is a great way to feel better and get some help.

If you’re looking for professional support and management of your symptoms, why not speak to your GP and make an appointment with one of our Clinical Psychologists?

 

 

Useful resources:

Parent Line

1300 1300 52 

www.parentline.org.au

 

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia

1300 726 306

www.panda.org.au