Having a baby is often thought of as an amazing experience and a happy time in a Mother’s life. However, as a new mother, you may not necessarily feel this straight away. Although the ‘Baby Blues’ are common 3-10 days after childbirth they tend to pass quite quickly.
Around 10-15 per cent of new mothers develop a more severe and longer-term depression known as postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within six weeks of giving birth and can come on gradually or all of a sudden. It can range from being relatively mild to very severe. It can also reoccur again or for the first time in further pregnancies.
Having a baby is a major life event in itself, as it is likely to involve many changes in your life. It may effect how you feel about yourself and your identity. Common expectations that maternal instinct will be ‘natural’ and that all will be ‘perfect’ can leave you open to developing an episode of depression if all does not go as expected. You may have had to give up social activities and have reduced opportunities to meet up with your friends. You may also have had to give up your job and lose your financial independence. This can lead to feelings of being:
- sad and low
- tearful for no apparent reason
- unable to cope
- irritable and angry
- hostile to or not interested in your husband or partner
- hostile to or not interested in your baby.
It may also lead to the following symptoms
- Loss of concentration
- excessive worry about the baby
- disturbed sleep
- finding it hard to sleep – even when you have the opportunity
- reduced appetite
- lack of bonding with your baby
- lack interest in sex
- thoughts about death.
According to MIND, if you experience thoughts about death or harming yourself or the baby, this can be very frightening, and may make you feel as if you are going mad or completely out of control. You may be afraid to tell anyone about these feelings. However, it’s important to understand that having these thoughts doesn’t mean that you are actually going to harm yourself or your children. Although it may be difficult, the more you open up about these feelings and talk about them, the less likely you will be to act on them.
If you would like to find out more or book an assessment then contact me here