Postnatal Depression Awareness Week was held recently so it is a great time to have a look at this illness. Just talking about it breaks down the stigma associated with antenatal and postnatal depression, and encourages people we know to ask for help.
One in seven new mothers is affected by postnatal depression and around one in ten has high levels of emotional distress during pregnancy.
Despite the large number of women affected, many remain unidentified and untreated, even though effective treatments are available. If PND is untreated it can have devastating effects on mental health, relationships and mother/child bonding.
Many women do not speak up because of the negative stigma PND has, often blaming themselves for the way they are feeling and worried they will be perceived by others as, a 'Bad Mother.'
Below are some symptoms of PND, If you or someone you care about is experiencing some of these it may be a good idea to talk to your GP, child & family health nurse or the Perinatal Mental Health Service.
• Do you have trouble sleeping, even when there is no reason to explain the sleep disturbance?
• Do you get irritable witeveryone, or are you more irritable than usual?
• Do you find yourself getting anxious about the smallest things that concern your baby or toddler?
• Do you feel like your emotions are on a rollercoaster?
• Are you often confused, or feel you are forgetting things and can't concentrate?
• Do you sometimes feel like you baby or child would be better off without you?
• Do you feel like you can't be the kind of mother you want to be?
Author: Alyson Officer is a Psychologist for Perinatal Mental Health, IDGP and put together this article using information from the Perinatal Mental Health Service flyer put out by the IDPG. The IDPG run a support group for mothers with PND at Green Bean Cafe in Corrimal. See Parents Guide's listing for more information.