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Post Natal Depression :

Is a depressive illness that occurs after childbirth and can affect 10-15% out of every 100 women.  It does not always occur immediately after childbirth, it can occur several weeks later.  The symptoms are:-

There are various reasons why the depression occurs.  It may well be because you have suffered a difficult pregnancy or birth, have a history of previous depression, be dealing with other issues, such as relationship issues, bereavement or financial loss?  PND can also begin without any apparent reason, it may simply be because of the change that have occured in your life since the arrival of your newborn baby and also how that can affect your personal relationship with your partner/spouse?

If you are suffering any of the symptoms, then help is at hand.    There are treatments available such as anti-depressants or talking therapy?  Talk to your GP, Health Visitor, or seek counselling therapy.  If you dont feel like you can talk to anyone and you think there is no way out, you can always contact the Samaritans.  However talking to a health professional will certainly give you some relief and enable you to establish that what you are going through, painful though it may seem, is only temporal, should you choose to seek professional help immediately.

Self Help:

You can help yourself, by letting those close to you, know how you feel.  Post natal depression is not something to be ashamed of, nor does it render you incapable of looking after yourself or your baby, unless it has intensified to such an extent that it has rendered you completely helpless.  Taking regular exercise can help, so getting out in the fresh air by taking your baby for a walk, will help lift your mood and your spirits.  Taking advantage of a babysitter, whether it be a friend or member of your family, will help free up some time for yourself.  Ensure that you set aside time to spend with your partner as maintaining your personal relationship is very important.  The changes that a new baby can bring, do not only affect yourself they can affect  your partner and sometimes men can feel like a spare part or rejected in some way, after your baby is born.

Look out for any self help groups in your area and whatever offers of help you get from family and friends, don't feel guilty in accepting their help, whether it be with housework, babysitting, shopping or looking after other children.  Self help books are also available.  Turning to drugs and alcohol will not help, they may only intensify the problem.  Just remember you will start to feel better in time.  Many women get post natal depression, you are not going mad simply because you are feeling the way you do, even if it may feel like it, at times.  Contact me if you wish to make an appointment.

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