Let's talk about the big elephant in the room that is Post Natal Depression, as we all know the stigma that surrounds the diagnosis. Gaining knowledge, understanding and support is the first step to help any new Mum's to recovery. The Baby Blues or Post Natal Depression is common and effects more than 1 in 7 Mum's in Australia, however it's not commonly spoken about and goes untreated creating many issues on the road into motherhood.
What is Baby Blues?
The Baby Blues can start anywhere from 3-10 days postpartum and is characterized by the feelings of anxiousness and irritability, and sometimes an unstable mood. Baby Blues tend to clear up in 3-5 days of beginning. If these feelings persist it is more common that you are experiencing Post Natal Depression.
What is Post Natal Depression?
Post Natal Depression is characterized by the following symptoms. You may have a few symptoms on the list, or you may have them all.
- regular low moods
- feeling in adequate or like a failure
- hopelessness, empty or sad
- guilty, ashamed or worthless
- having trouble sleeping, sleeping too much or nightmares
- excessive worrying about baby
- fear of being alone
Post Natal Depression is serious, as it can impact on your ability to care for your newborn. Post Natal Depression is diagnosed through the use of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale questionnaire about your mental state of the previous 2 weeks.
What causes Baby Blues and Post Natal Depression?
There are a few different causes and some people are more prone than others. It generally is not just one cause either.
- sudden drop in hormones post birth
- trauma during pregnancy or birth
- personal or family history of depression
- depression during pregnancy
- lack of support emotionally or physically
- issues with feeding
It takes strength and courage to reach out for the help but there is a lot of brilliant services available. It will be daunting as you are heading into what feels like uncharted territory, but you are not alone. There are many women before you and many more woman to come that will experience PND.
Below are a few links to some accurate reading material and numbers and web addresses of support services. On top of the below links we also recommend contacting your caring midwife, GP, Child Health Nurse or local psychologist that will be able to direct you to the best support local to you.
1300 224 636
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby
1800 882 436
1300 726 306