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What Is Post Natal Depression
Postnatal depression is a very serious medical condition often ignored or misunderstood. PND is REAL and can be treated. Irt is classified as a mood disorder which is associated with childbirth. it typically starts 2 weeks to a month after child birth, but can present anytime during the first year of a baby's life. It affects 1 in 3 mother but CAN AFFECT DADS TOO!!!
NB: The danger is that it can also have negative effects on the new born baby's need for physical and emotional nurturing!
PND is often confused with the 'baby blues' which occurs in 70 percent of woman after giving birth. Baby blues lasts a week or two. PND needs treatment.
Feeling sad, emotional and weepy
Usually only lasts 3-7 days after child birth. Never lasts more than 2 weeks.
Affects 70-80% of women
Will resolve spontaneously
POST NATAL DEPRESSION
Severe feelings of sadness, anxiety and worthlessness
Lasts for atleast 2 weeks and may occur for months and up to a year of childbirth
Often associated with anxiety
Affects 10-30% of women
A typical example will be of a new mum feels pure love as she holds her newborn baby for the first time. The feeling will forever be engraved in her mind and heart yet she gets a feeling of terror which overwhelms her as she thinks about taking care of this precious little life. As she brings the baby home she feels isolated and lonely although she has the support of her family and friends. This mum constantly might indulge in self pity at the thought of being the number one caretaker of her baby. She does not feel the happiness she thinks she should be experiencing. Although she wanted this all her life, her family is now complete and she has her bundle of 'joy' yet she feels empty. She feels guilty and hurt for not being happy and this leads to dangerous thoughts of self destruction. She feels anxious and on edge at all times, she may withdraw or over indulge in food. She hates herself and feels robbed of the 'motherly love' she thinks she should be feeling. She may not respond to the needs of her baby and be distant or she may be paranoid over meeting the babies every need. She blames herself and her feelings for the babies every cry and inability to sleep.
She can switch from feeling ecstatic to overwhelming sadness and despair in under 5 minutes.
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