More than 1 in 7 new mums experience post natal depression, mums share their experiences below. We would love to hear about your journey, add it in the comments below.
(Medical disclaimer: Tips provided need to be considered in conjunction with medical advice. For immediate concerns, please contact HealthDirect (Australia wide) ph 1800 022 222 – to talk to a registered nurse 24hrs a day, and in emergencies call 000.)
Panda: Post Ante Natal Depression Association offers support to women men and their families who are suffering from perinatal postnatal antenatal depression anxiety.
- Tips from our GP on postnatal depression
- Factsheets: (more available here)
- Caring for someone with Postnatal Depression
- Beyond Blue
We asked mums if they would share their Postnatal Depression Stories
- I was 18 when my son was born and had it quite bad (now 16 months old). I felt angry mostly, I was irrational, irritable and constantly annoyed. I would get really depressed but more often than not I was angry. I would never wish my son harm but I had to desire or want to care for him. Getting out of bed and eating was such a chore, how could I change nappies, feed a baby etc? I gave up breastfeeding extremely early because of it, I also (was separated from his father from 2 weeks old) said I would give full custody to my sons father. My mum noticed the signs and sat me down and chatted to me. I wouldn’t admit it. I didn’t want to be crazy. Part of me knew, deep down, that I did have PND but I didn’t want the label and the “crazy” tag that goes with it. At first, nothing helped. I started seeing my GP, and mental health. I also went to a counsellor. I was put on Zoloft, which was great when it kicked it (takes 4-6 weeks) but leading up to it taking effect was the hardest time of my life. I didn’t have a bond with my newborn which made every task difficult, frustrating and more challenging than it should have been. Being told I had PND and it was nothing to be ashamed of helps. More women then we realise are battling this every day. It needs to become more socially acceptable to come out and admit you feel blue. I was lucky to have such an amazing family and support base to fall back on but I understand some women don’t. If you even have to stop and think if you have it, please please PLEASE go see your GP. It can’t go any further, they can’t pass judgement (and you can bet they see/hear crazier things every day anyway!) And they can point you in the right direction for help. 16 months on and I have a happy, smart, beautiful little man who I now have a bond with and can’t help but smile when I look at him. If you need any help or advice after GP hours, call beyondblue, they were amazing and always there with honest, non-judgemental people who have ALL been through the same feelings/emotions as you are.
- I am a 31 year old first time mum who has experienced both pnd and post traumatic stress (as a result of the birth). I have wanted a baby all of my life and was so excited throughout my pregnancy. Towards the end of pregnancy I had high blood pressure which lead to me being induced. My labour was tough with numerous things going wrong. For the days after the birth I was in lots of physical pain and thought that feeling down was a result of that. This continued on for weeks and my husband and I put it down to the traumatic labour. I didn’t want to get out of bed, I cried all the time, I felt useless and like a failure. My husband also copped lots of abuse and judgement. I was always angry at him and resented him because his life hadnt changed but every part of mine had. I wanted a baby so bad but wasn’t enjoying being a mum which made me feel even worse. My husband was supportive as was the rest of my family. I eventually realised I needed help when I started having nightmare. I spoke to my midwife and she referred me to a psychiatrist. My psychiatrist made me realise that it wasn’t anything to be ashamed of. The things that helped, I decided to take St Johns Wort, had my husband come to the psychiatrist so he could understand, getting out of the house, having a shower, doing my hair, wearing nice clothes. Anything to break the monotony of the days. Things that made it hard was getting those close to me to realise it doesn’t just go away because you start taking something for it. My LO is 7 months old and I still have my bad days but overall I am loving it. If you are suffering pnd my advise is to get help, from friends, family and professionals. Take the time out to smile with your LO and realise that they are worth every tearI’ve been diagnosed with PND for the past four months, although I’ve felt the same way ever since my daughter was born. She’s now nine months and I’ve still got it.
- I didn’t come to terms with PND until Ruby was five months old. Don’t mistake it for the baby blues. Midwives had told me that the baby blues usually only lasted a few weeks. At first, like any first time mum you feel scared and worried, not knowing why you’re baby won’t stop crying, and managing different ways to make him/her feel better. Keeping calm was the hardest barrier for me, and sometimes still is. The worst thing I did was not see a doctor sooner. I already had post traumatic stress disorder prior to ring diagnosed with PND which made things a lot worse. I started seeing a psychiatrist once I was diagnosed which has helped tremendously and I should have went sooner. The main symptom I had was anger. I literally became violent towards my partner, but never to Ruby. I always felt like I had failed her; failed being a good mum.I’m feeling much better knowing that people out there can help me. I still struggle to deal with it from day to day a I live in western Sydney, and all of my family and friends live seven hours away. But having a good support network is crucial! Don’t ever feel the need to hide it from your family and friends. And if you have them close by unlike I did and still don’t, use the advantage! If they offer, ACCEPT!! 🙂 All the best Mummies! -Dee
- I suffered it when I had my first bub to the point I wanted nothing to do with him. It was that bad that now he’s 2 and half and hardly comes to me or anything. His dad used to do everything cause I didn’t want to have anything to do with him or even look at him. the dr put me on tablets that made me sleep so they took me off them so then I started seeing a councillor which helped. Turned out that I was pushing him away cause I was never treated right when I was younger. I now have another son and havent gone throw it this time round but the damage that it did to my first hasnt helped at all.