Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression (PND) is often referred to as “baby blues, but in actuality PND and “baby blues” are two different conditions. “Baby blues” are the feelings (weepy, sad, overwhelmed, anxious and/or moody) that you develop approximately one to two weeks after giving birth. These feelings typically subside within a few days. PND, on the other hand, typically occurs during the first couple of months after giving birth and persists until you seek treatment. Although PND typically develops during the first 5 to 8 weeks, it can occur at any time during the first year. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you identify your PND triggers, seek support from family and friends and effectively manage your health condition.

 

Signs & Symptoms

Postnatal depression symptoms (PND) vary from woman to woman, but most women experience at least one of these feelings following the birth of their child. It is important to note that you will more than likely experience “good” and “bad” days following delivery, if these symptoms occur repeatedly for more than a couple of weeks and/or they worsen over time, then you may have PND.

  • Sadness/Despair
  • Loss of Interests in Activities
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Feelings of Hopelessness and/or Helplessness
  • A Sense of Guilt and/or Shame
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Anxiety

 

Causes

  • Chronic depression and/or mental illness before the pregnancy or with a prior pregnancy
  • No support system (unsupportive family and friends)
  • Financial, job-related, housing and/or relationship issues
  • Post-delivery complications
  • A premature or ill newborn
  • Breastfeeding difficulties

 

Treatments

  • Change Your Thinking Patterns: If you are experiencing postnatal depression, it is important that you change the way you perceive the situation. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you change your thinking patterns. Your psychologist will help you to see how your unhealthy thoughts are contributing to your depression. During sessions, you will learn how to change your thinking patterns so that you view giving birth and caring for your newborn as a positive experience.
  • Share Your Feelings: It is not uncommon to have confusing and/or conflicting feelings following delivery, especially if you do not have a strong support system. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you express your feelings. During sessions, your psychologist may suggest that you share your feelings with friends and family and/or suggest for you to join a support group. Sharing your feelings will not only help you manage your health condition, it also will give you an opportunity to meet new people who are going through a similar experience.
  • Help Yourself: Following delivery, you still have the pregnancy hormones coursing through your body so you may feel depressed and/or overwhelmed. It is important that you reframe from wallowing in self-pity and get up and help yourself.  Minds For The Future psychologists can “help you to help yourself”. During sessions, your psychologist will give you self-help manuals to get you on the road to recovery. These manuals will explain why you feel depressed and offer practical suggestions on how to handle your health condition in a healthy and positive way.
  • Recognise Unhealthy Relationships:  After giving birth, it is important to surround yourself with positive and supportive people. If you are constantly around negative people it can cause you to experience postnatal depression. Minds For The Future psychologists can help you identify whether your relationships are contributing to your health condition.

 

 

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