Depression- During and After Pregnancy
Postnatal depression is more than just the “baby blues” or feeling “down in the dumps” for a few days. The hormonal changes in your body after giving birth can cause you to feel miserable, exhausted, stressed and quick to tears. This is often referred to as the “baby blues”. With depression, sad, anxious or empty feelings don’t go away. They interfere with your daily life and routines.
“About 13 per cent pregnant women and new mothers experience depression.”
The good news is that most people with postnatal depression get better with treatment.
How do I know if I have depression?
If you have any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks:
- Feeling restless or moody
- Feeling sad, hopeless and overwhelmed
- Crying a lot
- Having no energy or motivation
- Eating too much or too little
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Withdrawing from family or friends
- Having memory problems
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Experiencing headaches, aches and pains
- Having trouble focusing or making decisions
- Losing interest in pleasurable activities you used to enjoy
Postnatal depression impacts on the whole family, including the baby.
You may feel guilty and “not a good enough mother”, you may lose confidence.
Post natal depression can be treated with counselling, “talk therapy”. A check up with your local Melbourne doctor is advisable too. If you’re in need of postnatal depression support in Melbourne please don’t hesitate to talk with me or make an appointment to meet at my South Melbourne office my contact details are here.
Looking after yourself
Sleep if you can, and have a rest if you can’t. Nap when your baby is sleeping. Nap when your baby is sleeping.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. With all the new demands on your body, good nutrition is very important. Try not to skip meals.
Although it may be the last thing you feel like doing, some gentle exercise will help you to feel better both physically and mentally.
Just going for a walk with your baby can help.
It may be difficult to quieten your mind; a guided meditation on CD may help.
Having a baby can make you feel isolated. Meet with other new mothers, or join a supportive mothers group.
Be kind to yourself
You need to take care of yourself to take care of your baby.
Don’t load yourself up with things that really don’t need to be done.
Help …… ask and accept
Ask and accept offers of help around the home. Surround yourself with people you can be honest with, share how you are feeling.