Welcoming a new baby into the world is an experience like no other.
Being a new parent brings a whole gamut of emotions, responsibilities and questions. Many of which we’re completely unprepared for. But what happens when those emotions, responsibilities and questions become too much? When “unprepared” becomes “unable to cope”?
When does new parent overwhelm become postnatal depression?
Current statistics tell us that postnatal depression (PND) now affects one in 7 new mothers and one in 20 new fathers. But despite the increased incidence of PND in our society, there still seems to be misunderstanding about what PND actually is and how it is treated.
This episode of the Meaningful Motherhood podcast covers the difference between the “baby blues”, a general sensation of parental overwhelm, and a clinical diagnosis of postnatal depression.
Until next time, Sarah xx
ps – keep reading for important info if you have concerns about your own mental health, or that of others.
Could you have Postnatal Depression?
For the past two weeks or more have you felt the following on a regular or frequent (daily) basis?
- Difficulty being able to laugh and see the funny side of things
- Decreased ability to look forward to enjoyable activities.
- Blaming yourself unnecessarily when things have gone wrong
- Feeling anxious or worried for without good reason
- Feeling like things are frequently “getting on top of you”
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping excessively
- Frequently feeling sad or miserable quite often
- Frequent bouts of crying
- Having thoughts of harming myself of others **
If you, or someone you know has been exhibiting several of these symptoms frequently over a two week period or more, please advice from your doctor, midwife or community health agency. ** If you answered yes to the final point, please seek immediate support.
For anyone concerned that they, or someone they know, might be experiencing PND, the best course of action is to seek support from a health professional. Speaking to your maternal health nurse, midwife, obstetrician, or GP is generally the first step. But you can also feel confident seeking out a counsellor, mental health OT, or psychologist, which in many cases doesn’t require a referral.
For further resources about PND, please visit the following websites:
If you require immediate support, please contact Lifeline on 131 114