Post natal depression

postnatal depression

DETECTIVES investigating the deaths of twin babies in Cloverdale have revealed that the children’s mother had been receiving treatment for post natal depression, PerthNow reported.

What is Postnatal Depression?

Adjusting to life as a mother can be difficult. In fact, for many women, having a baby is the most significant life-changing event they will ever experience. Adjusting to this major life change, as well as coping with the day-to-day stress of a new baby, can make some women more likely to experience depression at this time, particularly if they’ve experienced depression in the past.
Some women may experience depression during pregnancy and this is referred to as Antenatal Depression. Around 10 per cent of pregnant women in Australia experience antenatal depression and it is less common than depression which is experienced after the birth of a baby.  Postnatal depression (PND) is the name given to depression that a woman experiences in the months after the birth of her baby. Postnatal depression affects almost 16 per cent of women giving birth in Australia.

Women who come from other countries to Australia may be isolated and even more at risk of postnatal depression. The Beyondblue website has information about postnatal depression in many different languages http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=102.944

 

Links – Consumers and carers

Most women feel ‘blue’ and weepy a few days or so after they have a baby. This is due to all the changes in their bodies and lives and it goes away before long.

All women, after they have babies, have some bad days when they feel really down – due to tiredness, being constantly on call, not being able to keep their homes as well as they did, losing their old lifestyle and so on.

  • This is normal. Women need extra help and support when they are caring for a new baby – this is the time to accept offers of help and ask for what you need.

Postnatal depression

For some women, however, it is more than just having a bad day or days. The bad feelings become so strong that they take over and make it very difficult for the woman to cope with the demands of her life – this is called postnatal depression. Post natal depression affects almost one in six women giving birth in Australia.

Postnatal depression can occur soon after birth or come several weeks or months down the track. It is very distressing and can make life very difficult for the woman and her family but it can be helped and it is important to get support and help as soon as possible.

Post natal depression is not your fault. It happens just like any other illness for a variety of reasons and it will get better.

ALERT!
Sometimes when depression is very severe there is a risk that the woman will harm herself or her baby. Emergency action is needed if a woman feels she will harm herself or her baby in the near future if she doesn’t get help.

Symptoms depend on the severity


Around one in eight mothers develop postnatal depression (PND). It can happen either a few days or weeks after the birth, with a slow or sudden onset. Some women may even experience depression during the pregnancy (this is called antenatal depression). The range of symptoms experienced depends on the severity of the depression, and may include:

  • Low self-esteem and lack of confidence
  • Feelings of inadequacy and guilt
  • Negative thoughts
  • Feeling that life is meaningless
  • Feeling unable to cope
  • Tearfulness and irritability
  • Difficulty sleeping or changes in sleeping patterns
  • Low sex drive
  • Anxiety, panic attacks or heart palpitations
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering things.
  • Interventions for recovery

    If you do not feel the way you expected to feel during your pregnancy or after having your baby, it is very important that you talk to someone you trust.

    1. Accept the depression
      The first step towards getting better is to accept that you don’t feel the way you want to and to seek help for this. This will mean starting to talk to people about how you feel and letting go of the many defences and masks you have created.
    2. Medical assessment
      Because depression is a medical condition you will need to make an appointment to see your medical adviser. It is important for you to have a series of basic medical tests to rule out any other conditions.
    3. Medication
      Antidepressant medication, in conjunction with support and counselling, is a very effective treatment for many women with either antenatal or postnatal depression. Antidepressants do not necessarily treat the cause of the depression or take it away; they can however help speed up the recovery process and support other forms of treatment.
      Unfortunately there are many misconceptions about antidepressants and many women who could benefit from them refuse to take them because they are afraid the medication is harmful, particularly if they are pregnant or breastfeeding. A more detailed discussion of these issues is in our booklet Postnatal Depression and Breastfeeding.
      Antidepressants do not change your personality; they act on the brain chemicals that are thought to affect depression and anxiety. Antidepressants are not addictive and some can be safely taken while pregnant and breastfeeding.
    4. Counselling
      Counselling and support can help you to understand what has contributed to your postnatal depression and help you to adapt to your role as a mother. With any degree of postnatal depression, particularly long term, it is important for you to investigate all the possible contributing factors (for example unrealistic expectations of motherhood, rigid and controlling thinking, past history of child abuse or grief and loss) to help prevent depression with any future pregnancies and to develop problem-solving strategies.
    5. Lifestyle Changes
      Mum out for a walk with baby Although it can be difficult for you to make changes to your daily life when you are feeling very depressed or anxious, making some small changes can be helpful. For example, resting when your baby is sleeping rather than doing the housework, sitting to eat your lunch every day or having a shower every morning can help to restore some normality to your life, even if you don’t feel like doing these things. Making time to go for a walk, either taking baby in a sling or stroller, or leaving him with your partner, a trusted family member or friend can allow you some time for yourself.
      Good nutrition is important to health. Your diet needs to be balanced – preferably low in saturated fats, refined sugar and caffeine and high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Any intake of alcohol or other non-prescribed drugs may have an impact on your body’s wellbeing.
      Exercise is also an effective form of treatment for depression. Daily physical exercise boosts mood by increasing the levels of positive neurotransmitters, and the release of endorphins will help to create a sense of wellbeing. Relaxation and meditation can also be very effective. The Australian Breastfeeding Association booklet Looking After Yourself has lots of helpful suggestions.
    6. Mother the way you want to mother
      Many of the issues the mother with postnatal depression faces are the same as those of all mothers, for example the baby’s feeding, settling and sleeping. Part of your recovery will involve a growth in your confidence with making decisions about the care of your baby and how you want to be as a mother, in partnership with your partner.
      For many mothers, being supported to continue breastfeeding is important to their recovery from postnatal depression. The skin-to-skin contact that comes with it can have a positive effect on your relationship with your baby. Sleeping with your baby or having your baby near you when you sleep may also help your relationship. For other mothers who are more anxious, the closeness of the baby can be disruptive. Note that bed-sharing with your baby is not recommended if you are taking medication that may make you sleep more heavily than normal, and never sleep with your baby on a chair or couch.
    7. Support
      Support and patience from family and friends are perhaps the most crucial factors in your recovery. All women with postnatal depression need emotional support from family and friends. It can feel much easier to withdraw from friends and family because of how you feel but isolation from others can actually make you feel worse. Belonging to an Australian Breastfeeding Association group, new mothers’ group or other support group is an important part of managing your depression, even though it may be difficult to get there. Being with other like-minded mothers, especially those who have experienced or who understand postnatal depression and women who are supportive of breastfeeding, is very helpful.
    8. For the future
      If you plan another pregnancy, it is important to consult your medical adviser for guidance, as there is a higher risk of it recurring. Most medical advisers recommend a woman should have discontinued medication for at least a year before attempting a subsequent pregnancy.

Links:

http://www.cyh.com/HealthTopics/HealthTopicDetails.aspx?p=114&np=141&id=1537

http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/pnd.html

 

Results 1 to 20 displayed.

1    2 3


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy and postnatal: resources, links, reading

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
This page provides a comprehensive list of resources, useful links and readings regarding depression in pregnancy and the postnatal period.

Date:  
Jun 2009


Title:  
What is postnatal depression?

Publisher:  
Raising Children Network (RCN)

Description:  
Discusses risk factors, causes and symptoms of post natal depression

Date:  
Mar 2009


Title:  
Pregnancy

Publisher:  
Child and Youth Health – CYH (South Australia)

Description:  
This topic looks at what you can expect in pregnancy – some questions you might ask yourselves and decisions to be made.

Date:  
Feb 2009


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy and postnatal: Q & A

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
Questions and answers on depression in pregnancy and the postnatal period.

Date:  
Jan 2009


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy & postnatal: causes & risk factors

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
Knowing about the causes and risk factors for depression can help you to better understand why depression can occur and how best to deal with it. It’s important to know that depression is not a sign of personal weakness, failure, or ‘all in the mind’. Each individual is uniquely different and will respond differently when exposed to either environmental, social or psychological triggers.

Date:  
Jan 2009


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy and postnatal: treatment issues

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
The symptoms of depression or anxiety that occur amongst childbearing women are similar to those that occur at other times of life, however the choices for treatment may differ during pregnancy or when a woman is breastfeeding.

Date:  
Jan 2009


Title:  
Depression explained: postnatal depression (PND)

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
Many women experience mood swings after the birth of a baby. However, postnatal depression (PND) describes the more severe or prolonged symptoms of depression (clinical depression) that last more than a week or
two and interfere with the ability to function on a daily basis with normal routines including caring for a baby.

Date:  
Jan 2009


Title:  
Fact sheet 22 – postnatal depression

Publisher:  
beyondblue

Description:  
This fact sheet provides information on postnatal depression – including signs and symptoms, effective treatments and where to get help.

Date:  
Jan 2009


Title:  
What is postnatal depression?

Publisher:  
beyondblue

Description:  
Adjusting to life as a mother can be difficult. In fact, for many women, having a baby is the most significant life-changing event they will ever experience. Adjusting to this major life change, as well as coping with the day to day stress of a new baby, can make some women more likely to experience depression at this time, particularly if they have experienced depression in the past.

Date:  
Dec 2008


Title:  
Post natal depression

Publisher:  
Child and Youth Health – CYH (South Australia)

Description:  
Post natal depression (PND) is a mood disorder that affects many women all over the world after they have given birth. Post natal depression is not the fault of the person, it is an illness.

Date:  
Dec 2008


Title:  
Post natal depression

Publisher:  
Child and Youth Health – CYH (South Australia)

Description:  
For some women, the bad feelings after child birth become so strong that they take over and make it impossible for the woman to cope with the demands of her life – this is called postnatal depression.

Date:  
Dec 2008


Title:  
Aboriginal – a new baby

Publisher:  
Child and Youth Health – CYH (South Australia)

Description:  
Aboriginal mums, after they have babies, have some bad days due to tiredness, being constantly on call, not being able to keep up with things, losing their old lifestyle and so on. This is normal.

Date:  
Jul 2008


Title:  
Postnatal depression (postpartum depression)

Publisher:  
Virtual Medical Centre.com

Description:  
Information on the symptoms, treatment and diagnosis of postpartum depression in mothers by professional health specialists.

Date:  
Jun 2008


Title:  
Tips for parents: babies

Publisher:  
Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Description:  
Advice for parents on how to survive the first year with a new baby.

Date:  
Jun 2008


Title:  
Postnatal depression – the family

Publisher:  
Better Health Channel

Description:  
Some mothers develops postnatal depression (PND) after the birth of a baby. Partners, family and friends can all have an important role in recovery. Having a baby and PND both place great stress on relationships. Fathers can also develop PND. Symptoms of depression can also appear pregnancy (antenatal depression).

Date:  
May 2008


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy and postnatal: baby blues

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
Many women experience a brief episode of mood swings, tearfulness, anxiety and difficulty in sleeping in the first week after the birth of a baby.

Date:  
May 2008


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy & postnatal: antenatal depression

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
Antenatal depression means depression that starts during pregnancy. Between 10-15% of pregnant women experience episodes of mood swings that last more than two weeks at a time and interfere with normal day to day functioning.

Date:  
Apr 2008


Title:  
Depression in pregnancy and postnatal: self-test

Publisher:  
Black Dog Institute Australia

Description:  
We provide here a test you can take yourself to find out if you may have depression during pregnancy or in the postnatal period.

Date:  
Apr 2008


Title:  
Patient support organisation: perinatal depression

Publisher:  
Australian Prescriber

Description:  
Describes the organisations beyondblue and Post and Ante Natal Depression Association (PANDA).

Date:  
Apr 2008


Title:  
Postnatal depression

Publisher:  
Australian Prescriber

Description:  
If you consistently feel sad and unable to cope with your baby, it is important to talk to your child health nurse or doctor about your feelings.

Date:  
Apr 2008

Filed Under: 2010AsianAustraliaperth waWA

Tags: ,

Perth Gal

About the Author

News and Blog about WA, Perth and Multicultural Events Happenings & stuff

Leave a Reply




If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.

Weboy

WordPressÖ÷Ìâ