Pregnancy and the arrival of a new baby is usually a happy event but for many expectant mums and new parents it can be a time of great stress, sadness and confusion.
While it’s normal to experience some difficulties adjusting to pregnancy and motherhood, negative feelings that last for more than two weeks and impact on your ability to function indicate it’s time to get help.
Up to 1 in 10 mums-to-be experience depression during pregnancy.
1 in 7 new mums and 1 in 20 new dads are now diagnosed with postnatal depression.
Don’t struggle in silence.
These illnesses can have a devastating impact on the wellbeing of new parents and their children but help is readily available and early intervention and the right support leads to a faster recovery.
The symptoms of perinatal depression and anxiety also differ for each person. Common symptoms include:
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep disturbances unrelated to the baby
- Feeling overwhelmed or out of control
- Fear of being alone
- Negative obsessive thoughts
These simple strategies can help new and expecting parents to look after their wellbeing:
- Seek help and accept it if you don’t feel the way you expected
- Keep talking to your partner and others about your feelings and concerns. PANDA’s Helpline, a professional counsellor, doctor, friend or family member may provide this support
- Take time out to do things that you enjoy and that nurture you
- Eat well, exercise and get adequate sleep
- Reduce expectations for yourself and your partner
Find out more about PANDA here