PND : Post Natal DepressionPost Partum Depression is a very real and a very serious problem that can affect new Mums and veteran Mums, in the first few days or months after delivery. You are not alone.
Are you experiencing any of these thoughts or feelings?
- Constant negative thoughts and feelings.
- Anxiety about things that wouldn’t normally bother you.
- Taking no pleasure from being with your baby, or feeling hostile towards him, your partner, or your other children.
- Extremely worried about your baby’s health, even though he’s fine, or thinking you are a hopeless mum, even if you’re doing well.
- Fearful that you might harm your baby.
- Being obsessed with your own health, or your baby’s, such as whether or not he is gaining weight, or is breathing properly.
You may also feel:
- persistently sad or low
- no pleasure in the things you usually enjoy
- exhausted, and lacking in motivation
- guilty, perhaps about not coping, or not loving your baby enough
- lacking in confidence
- ready to blame yourself for everything
- not keen to see friends or family
- irritable and tearful.
PND is different from the baby blues. The baby blues can make you feel moody, weepy, tired and anxious, but it usually gets better within a few hours, or days, after the birth. If these feelings go beyond the first two weeks after your baby is born, you may have PND. PND is an illness that has its own set of causes, and it is unlikely to go away quickly without treatment.
Being a mum is a physical and emotional rollercoaster, and you will have highs and lows. You probably don’t have PND if you have a few of the signs and symptoms described below every once in a while. But if there are no highs to balance out the lows, and your feelings of misery never seem to lift, you may have PND.
You may have been depressed during your pregnancy, but not necessarily. PND may make you feel sapped of energy and unable to cope with your daily life. You may not be able to concentrate on anything. Or you may find it hard to remember things and be very indecisive. PND often affects sleep, whether that means you can’t get to sleep, or are disturbed by early-morning waking, or vivid nightmares.
If you have PND, you may also suffer from:
- panic attacks that cause a rapid heartbeat, sweating, sickness or fainting
- tummy pains, headaches or blurred vision
- a loss of appetite, or the urge to comfort eat
- suicidal feelings, or the urge to self-harm
- a low sex drive
PND affects everyone differently. But if you are experiencing many of these feelings, and they are constant, or getting worse, talk to your early childhood nurse or GP.
You don’t have to cope on your own. The first step to feeling better is to recognise that you have PND, and then seek the help and treatment that you need to get better. Sometimes PND can develop into a serious mental illness called postpartum psychosis, which needs immediate medical help. Treatment may be more effective if you seek help early.
Talking to a professional like Annie who is experienced with PND and motherhood can really help you to cope and heal.