Post Natal Depression – do you have any of these symptoms?
- exhausted, stressed, anxious, confused
- feeling unable to cope with your baby
- managing daily activities difficult
- hard to make simple decisions
- crying uncontrollably
- feeling guilty, useless or irritable?
Then you may have post natal depression. Speak to your partner, and midwife. Make an appointment to speak to your doctor about this, it will be one of the best things that you can do for yourself.
It is understandable to have several of these symptoms after having a baby – those pregnancy hormones have gone crashing and you’re juggling with the responsibilities of having a new baby. You could see this at day 3-5 after birth – commonly known as the ‘Baby Blues’. In addition to those hormones, you may be dealing with a birth that didn’t go to plan, exhaustion, and the overwhelming emotions of this new babe being yours.
You may also experience some of these symptoms in the next few months. It is very common for PND to occur when your baby is aged between 6 and 12 months. Babies go through phases of growth spurts, maybe some reflux or colic, or sickness/teething – all which may make a grumpy, unsleeping baby which may frustrate you. You are also dealing with your new body (for better or worse!), lack of sleep, and possibly lack of support.
You may just have a few bad days (or weeks!). Add any stress such as moving house, job changes, relationship issues, and it’s no wonder you might feel a bit teary every now and then!
But when all these feelings last for longer than a few weeks, that it becomes a problem. That’s when it is important to ask for help.
What to do if you think you have PND?
1. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with
2. Visit your doctor
For more information about Perinatal Mental Health NZ Trust email [email protected]
Depending on your circumstances, there is a lot that both you and your doctor can do to help with easing PND.
- Taking antidepressents can help you lift you out of the black cloud and get you back onto track.
- Talking to a trained Maternal Mental Health counsellor can also help. So often when you are living in a situation, you cant see the simple solutions.
- Talk to a friend who has experienced PND or can offer you kind words. Avoid talking to people who don’t understand or only offer judgement and criticism
- Work through your issues and make life easier. Do everything possible to ensure smooth day-to-day running which will allow you time to yourself and to enjoy your baby without stress.
- Keep a journal – you will be amazed how far you come! When you read back on your low points, you will feel really fab about yourself for getting through it.
It can take some time to move out of the rut that is PND. But you will get through it!
www.pnd.org.nz is a Post & Ante Natal Distress Group which provides support for women and their families who are experiencing distress/depression during pregnancy and / or after the birth of a baby. It is a voluntary not for profit organization.
Telephone Support Line operates 7 days, 9am – 9pm. It is staffed by trained, telephone support people, who have recovered from PND, and are now volunteers. Phone 04 472 3135 9am – 9pm (telecom message service will relay your message)