15 May 2018

Post Natal Depression

Here’s another one for M A T E R N A L | M E N T A L | H E A L TH | M A T T E R S week

You’ve just carried your newborn baby for 9 months and are exhausted. The delivery was beautiful but your body feels like a wreck. Now you have to deal with feeding your newborn every 3 hours and are somehow expected to feel super relaxed, whilst obtaining no sleep, so you can produce that ever precious breast milk…

It’s no wonder 1 in 7 women are prone to post-natal depression (PND). It’s nothing to be ashamed of and should be taken very seriously.

Science is behind you. The main cause of PND, is a huge shift in reproductive hormones following the delivery.

Add common major stressors such as sleep deprivation, inadequate partner support and reduced nutritional intake to the mix and there’s no wonder you’re feeling deflated.

Previously experienced depression, have an infant with high needs or have your own health conditions? You may be at higher risk of PND.

PND usually develops around week 6 postpartum and can range from being mild to severe.

Symptoms are similar to antenatal depression and can include persistent feelings of low self-esteem, significant mood swings, guilt OR a complete lack of emotion/feeling of NUMBNESS, leading to detachment from your newborn.

You may even experience frightening thoughts such as harming your baby.

The good news is, postnatal depression is TREATABLE but first reduce those expectations, throw those unobtainable fantasies out the window and give yourself some SELF-LOVE

Motherhood is different for each woman. For the majority, it is scary, nerve wracking and shattering. If you don’t give yourself credit for the small wins, you will find it difficult to enjoy those special moments.

If you’re feeling depressed, it is NOT your fault and it can happen to anyone.

Contact your mid-wife, health visitor or GP for support. They can recommend support groups, PND targeted therapy sessions or anti-depressants if needed.

The earlier you recognise that you’re not okay, the safer it is for yourself and your family.

Lots of love,

The Children’s Medic

Written by Shruti @thechildrensmedic 


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