Post Natal Depression is a serious depressive condition which can take the joy out of having a new baby. You feel guilty for feeling like that and can’t understand why you just aren’t like other new Mums. Often you pretend to feel normal and try and hide it from friends and family, even your partner – well don’t. Don’t be ashamed of yourself.
PND can start at any time up to a year after having your baby so if you feel very low, make sure you reach out.
Statistics show that up to 1 in 10 women are affected by this common condition. That’s a whole lot of mama bears suffering – but doesn’t that make you feel better, knowing that you aren’t alone? It should do. There is plenty of help available. Speak to your Health Visitor when you know you don’t feel right and they can be a wonderful source of support – don’t believe what you may have heard about health visitors. They are there to help you, not criticize your parenting ability.
They are there for a reason – because having a baby is a BIG DEAL! Whether it is your first baby or your seventh baby – having a baby is an extremely difficult time for all of us. Your hormones are all over the place – couple that with a major lack of sleep – and it may feel you’re being hit full force in the face with a sledge-hammer.
Every. Single. Fucking. Day
If you don’t have a good support network around you and you aren’t getting a much-needed break this is bound to have an impact on your mental health. Being a Mum is wonderful but it is hard work – we all need a little help from time to time and we all need to be able to find some ‘me time’. If you feel isolated and trapped it will make you feel much worse. This is not you failing, this is a normal part of parenting!
Perhaps your relationship is struggling at the moment – it is hard for dads as well. They are also tired and can also get PND, though it is much less common. Being tired and having so much more responsibility can test even the best of relationships and this is also normal. Don’t get disillusioned by this, it will pass.
If you are suffering from domestic abuse your life may be much harder and you will need to reach out for support sooner than later. It is NOT your fault. Women’s Aid is a good place to start for a bit of reassurance or you can check out our facebook group Mum’s Misbehaving for real-life experiences from other mums.
Post Natal Depression is not something you should suffer in silence with. You will feel better by simply recognising it and talking it through with someone. It is treatable and you could very easily feel much better in a very short time with help from your GP – so please, don’t feel ashamed or worried you are a failure. Recognise that this is simply a condition that is NO FAULT OF YOUR OWN and you can regain control of your life and carry on being the wonderful mum that you are!