Pregnancy and childbirth are a huge life event for every woman and each time can be very different. It is natural to feel a range of emotions as your hormones are all over the place and you are probably very sleep deprived. If you are feeling like it all too much and that you are struggling, then you might have Postnatal Depression.
Postnatal Depression can be a very debilitating condition if left untreated. It effects around 15% of women in the postnatal period (After having baby). Around 9% of women suffer from antenatal depression, even before baby is born. depression.org.nz
The good news is that Postnatal Depression can be treated very easily and things can be put in place to assist you in your recovery.
Signs to look out for
Feeling sad and hopeless
Feeling anxious or panicky
Blaming yourself, even if its not your fault
Isolating yourself from friends or family
Episodes of frequent crying for no reason
There are no hard and fast rules when diagnosing Postnatal Depression, for some they might have all of the symptoms and others may only have one.
The main thing to do if you are unsure as to whether you have Postnatal Depression or not is to see your GP and have an assessment.
It can be difficult for some to talk about Postnatal Depression as previously it has been a taboo subject. It is a lot more accepted and supported these days, so don’t be ashamed to chat to friends or family.
After having your baby you may feel:
Pressure to feel joyous and happy
Worried that you are not doing things right
Like you should be on top of everything
Pressure from family/friends
The important thing to do it keep the communication lines open and not hide away when you are feeling any of the above symptoms.
Are there any risk factors?
If you have limited support systems
Worries about money/housing
Being under 20
Low self esteem
Previous history of mental health problems
History of abuse
Complicated relationship with your partner.
During your childbirth experience you will come into contact with several health professionals who are trained to help you seek the right medical attention. This may be by your GP, Midwife, Health Visitor, Practise Nurse or mental health advisor.
A specialist will talk about Postnatal Depression treatment options to support you and if needed prescribe you medications to help you through this hard time.
If you are feeling unwell then the sooner you seek help the sooner you will feel more like yourself.
This special time in your life does not need to be isolating and sad, it is a time for growing together and forming that special connection.
Each area or country that you live in has their own different services so ask your local provider. If you are feeling suicidal then make sure you contact the emergency helpline straight away.