Postnatal Depression is a depressive illness which, affects between 10 in every 100 women having a baby. The symptoms are in most cases the same as people who suffer with depression on a daily basis. So this could be low mood, irritability, tiredness and other symptoms lasting for a minimum of two weeks. Depending on the level of depression you are experiencing and your symptoms, you may struggle to look after yourself and your baby. You may find simple tasks difficult to manage.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for PND, but not always. You may feel distressed, or guilty for feeling like this, as you expected to be happy about having a baby. However, PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault. PND often starts within one or two months of giving birth. It can also start months after having a baby. Some women have symptoms of PND during pregnancy and this then continues after birth.
It’s never too late to seek help. If you have mild PND all that maybe needed is some extra support from family and friends to help you to adjust to motherhood and all that at brings. If your PND is chronic and extra support is not helping, you may need to inform your health visitor or your GP who will organise extra support care and treatment from your local mental health service.
Post natal Depression can present with the following symptoms. It is possible to only have some of these symptom or all of them depending on the severity of your PND.
You may experience a feeling of low mood unhappy and tearful much of the day and night. Some people feel worse at different times of the day.
You may get irritable or angry with your partner, baby or other children. This is mostly due to new mothers being very tired and on top of that depression can make you feel totally exhausted and lacking in energy. Some new mothers also have trouble falling asleep and they lie awake at night worrying about how they are going to cope with their newborn and everything else in their lives.
Some new mums forget to eat or lose their appetite and others will comfort eat.
With severe PND you may find that you don’t have any interest in anything.
Most women lose interest in sex after having a baby and this can be due to the fact they are just exhausted or it is painful after giving birth. Your partner may not understand this and feel rejected. This puts added pressure on the PND sufferer.
When you suffer with any type of depression it will change your thinking.
- you may have very negative thoughts
- you may lose your confidence
- you may feel guilty for feeling like this or that it is your fault in someway .
- you may think that you cannot cope with life
Post Natal Depression sufferers can suffer overwhelming anxiety, causing them to worry that there baby maybe ill, when it is perfectly fine, that their baby is not putting on the weight they should, worry that there baby is crying far too much and they cant comfort it. That they may harm their baby in some way. They worry that their post natal depression will never get better.
Not only are these women suffering with post natal depression symptoms they are also having to cope with symptoms of anxiety such as sweating, breathlessness, pounding heart, and racing pulse.
Women suffering with PND tend to avoid other people as they feel they are not coping with their new way of life and they don’t want anyone else to think they are not coping. After all this is the most natural thing right? Wrong, being a new mum can be extremely tough it is a time of huge change. It is not uncommon to feel lots of different emotions from one minute to the next. You may not have friends and family living nearby to help you. You are extremely tired and in need of sleep and rest but you have other children to take care of.
Over half of new mothers will experience the ‘baby blues’. This usually starts 3 to 4 days after birth. You may have mood swings. You may burst into tears easily. You can feel irritable, low and anxious at times. You may also over-react to things. It usually stops by the time your baby is about 10 days old. Women with baby blues do not need treatment. If it continues for more than 2 weeks, please inform your GP or health visitor who can assess you to see if you are suffering with post natal depression.
There are support groups on offer to support new mums but you do need to reach out via your GP. Homeopathy, Massage and Reflexology are all complementary therapies that can help to alleviate the symptoms of Post Natal Depression and just having someone to listen to your worries and concerns makes a massive difference something unfortunately a doctor cannot give you as they are just under so much pressure and don’t have enough time to listen and support new mums in the way that is needed. Health visitors are normally your best and nearest connection to getting help.
I have worked with a few new mums and my therapies have played apart on getting them back on track to be able to enjoy their little bundles of joy. Some have chosen to just use the therapies to help them an others have used my therapies alongside anti depressants. The choice is yours, but I just wanted to assure you there are alternatives to getting better. There is help you just need to reach out.
To contact me for further information please call me on 07968 292785 or info@holistichealthwithmichelle.