Pregnancy, giving birth and becoming a parent is a sensational experience and usually one that brings huge love and joy.
With so much to prepare, birth plans, pre-natal care, decorating a nursery and baby names an expectant mother may not be fully prepared for the emotional challenges that can follow after giving birth.
Pregnancy and birth encapsulates exceptional change in many areas of life; body shape, relationships with friends, family, colleagues and partner, sex life and carer status.
Not to mention how sleep patterns are completely disrupted, eating habits may adjust and some social or fitness regimes may be bottom of the list in priorities.
All of this change can impact on how a woman feels about herself, her surroundings and self esteem can be put under deep strain. Difficult feelings may become unmanageable; with low moods, anxiety and tearfulness heightening shortly after birth (around the third to fifth day after birth).
Post Natal Depression affects a staggering number of women (estimates range up to 85%) and gaining the much needed support early on is crucial.
Symptoms can include tearfulness, irritability, feeling lonely and incapable, difficultly in motivation and anxiety that can easily lead to panic attacks. Sufferers may also have a deeply painful sense of guilt about their mothering abilities and worry about the welfare of their baby.
Such difficult feelings and thoughts can create a barrier between the relationship a mother and baby develop, and, although every woman is different and each sufferer is unique in their pain, PND has a gripping hold over women that can feel suffocating on a day to day basis.
The NHS (2009) state that:
“Postnatal depression affects one in 10 women following the birth of their babies. It usually begins within the first six months of giving birth but can occur at any time within the first year. For some women, depression begins in pregnancy (antenatal depression).” www.nhs.co.uk
Finding support and care over this extremely painful and confusing time can be hugely comforting for a PND sufferer, especially in discovering that they are not alone in what they feel. In a safe, supporting and non judgmental space, many women can begin to ease some of the anxiety and loneliness.
Cassie Roberton, our new Integrative Counsellor may be able to offer the supporting, empathic and accepting space for anyone that is affected by the birth of a baby, PND, anxiety, low moods, depression, low self worth and many other difficult presenting issues.
For further details on support offered at Lucks Yard Clinic, please contact Cassie Roberton at the clinic on: 01483-527945
Further information on Post Natal Depression can be found at:
The Association for Post Natal Depression
NICE Guidelines; Antenatal and Postnatal mental health