Today I’m continuing with the A-Z Blogging Challenge! The aim is to write a post for every day of the month except for Sundays, with each post representing a different letter of the alphabet. This year, since I’ve just become a mum for the first time, my theme is: ‘an A-Z of Newborn Care’. I’ll be talking about all the highs and lows of parenting, sharing things that have been useful for me and posting some cute pictures.
For the letter ‘P’ I have chosen to talk about Postnatal Depression.
It’s a common type of depression that one in ten mothers suffer from, but it can also affect dads too. Having a baby is such a big change that it’s natural for both parents to feel some highs and lows of emotion. Sleep deprivation doesn’t help and thanks to their changing hormones, women usually experience the ‘baby blues’ a few days after birth. But if these low moods persist for several weeks after birth, it could be postnatal depression. Read on to learn about the symptoms and what to do if you think you may be suffering from PND.
What are the symptoms?
If you have PND, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Persistently feeling sad, low, worthless and hopeless about the future.
- Feeling irritable and angry.
- Having emotional outbursts, such as bursting into tears for no reason.
- Lacking energy, feeling exhausted and having difficulty getting out of bed in the morning.
- Struggling to complete household tasks.
- Feeling hostile or indifferent to your partner or baby.
- Having difficulty bonding with your baby.
- No longer interested in things you used to enjoy.
- Withdrawing from contact with people.
- Feeling guilty and unable to cope.
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Sleep disturbances or insomnia.
- Lack of appetite or increased appetite.
- Scary or intrusive thoughts, such as thoughts about death or harming yourself.
What to do if you think you have PND
Unfortunately there is still a stigma surrounding most types of mental illness and people rarely talk openly about their experiences of Postnatal Depression. However, it’s important to remember that it is a common illness and it doesn’t mean that you’re ‘going crazy’. It’s not your fault and you shouldn’t feel ashamed. There are lots of treatment options available and there is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if it doesn’t feel that way now.
If you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby, please seek help immediately.
The first thing you should do if you suspect you have PND is to talk to your GP or health visitor who have been trained to recognise the symptoms and can help you to get treatment, such as counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
(CBT) or a prescription for antidepressants
It’s a good idea to confide in your partner, family members and friends too as they can offer you advice and support. It’s important to rest as much as you can, eat healthy, balanced meals and get a little exercise if you can.
For more advice, you can visit the following websites:
Mothers for Mothers: 0843 28 98 401
The Samaritans: 116123
Mind: 0300 123 3393
Have you ever experienced postnatal depression or know someone that has?