There has been so much lately in the press about Serena Williams or Adele and how they opened up about their traumatic births or post natal depression that I felt it was an area to be talked about. It is a big step for anyone to admit to having post-natal or peri-natal depression or psychosis but once you have recognised it and talked about it you are on your way to recovery and help.
Many of you give birth and experience no trauma at all, others may have an emergency C Section – not what you were expecting or wanted or others just had a very long and hard birth – everyone is different – you all have a different birth story. However, you are all mums, women with hormones all over the place, a lack of sleep and also feeling you have to be on top of it all and be a great mum to support your new baby or kids!
Importantly – whether you are a tennis champion, an international singer, a teacher or manager – you are all women and a mum. Pre or post natal depression doesn’t choose who to call upon, it can just happen to anyone. It can also just happen; maybe around 5 or 6 months into being a new mum, you may start to feel more low or edgy or sleep deprived than ever. You may feel you are not being a good enough mum or feel you are letting your baby down and are no good – it could be a massive thing to get out in the day, maybe you get really anxious at the thought of having to go out. As Serena Williams said “I was looking for her bottle and couldn’t find it and I was just crying … I wanted to be perfect for her’.
The NCT says nearly 50% of mothers have experienced mental health problems at some time during pregnancy or in the 1st yr of being a mother. You can get through it though, but you need to ask for help! Don’t feel you can get through it on your own, not talk to anyone and make excuses to your health visitor or even your partner. Also, keep an eye out for your friends – talk to a friend whom you wonder if they are not coping too well and could potentially have some PND.
PANDA’s is a charity whom you can call and talk to: http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk/ so if you find it really hard to speak to anyone maybe start by calling them.
Otherwise, chat to your partner – admit you are finding everything really overwhelming and then book an appointment to see your GP. You can get help, there is always someone to talk to and tell you that you ARE a wonderful mum even if you may be doubting yourself. Remember, your 1st few months post birth is the 4th Trimester so be kind to yourself and most of all TALK about it and GET HELP. You WILL feel better even if you don’t feel you can.