PND is common after birth, affecting up to 14.5% of women in the first 3 months . Without effective treatment, PND can persist for months, and sometimes, years. Other psychological illnesses such as Anxiety and Bipolar Disorders can also occur after birth. All psychological illnesses carry risks for the mother, their infant and fathers or partners; and in turn, our community.
Negotiating having a new baby can cause many different emotional responses. You may experience tiredness, or feel overwhelmed, or uncertain. You may find it difficult to know if these are normal experiences or part of a more significant problem, such as postnatal depression or anxiety.
Some of the common signs of postnatal depression
- numb, or in a low mood
- inadequate, like a failure
- sad, empty, hopeless, worthless
- unable to cope with daily routine
- a loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities
- having difficulty sleeping, or excessive sleeping
- loss of appetite, or over eating
- excessive crying
- thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Some of the common signs of anxiety
disorders can include:
- anxiety, fear or worry that is difficult to control
- excessive worry about your baby’s health, or the birth
- feeling irritable, tense, restless, on edge
- experiencing difficulty relaxing and falling asleep at night
- muscle tension
- chest tightness, heart palpitations or shortness of breath
- fear or worry that stops you going out<
- excessive checking on baby.
In many cases, a mixture of depressive and anxiety symptoms can be experienced.
There are a number of very good resources available that provide reliable, good quality information about psychological disorders during, and after, pregnancy. These are listed in the Other Helpful Resources section below.
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