Postnatal Depression and Relationships - Valentine's Day

Today is Valentine’s Day. Are you doing anything special? Are you ignoring it? Would you like to do something, but feel unable to, for whatever reason? If you recently had a baby and aren't enjoying it as much as you'd hoped or thought you would, you may not feel like celebrating anything at all?

Whether we are in a romantic relationship with someone, or not, many of us feel pressurised by all the cards, love hearts and dinner-for-two offers everywhere. Perhaps we are thinking we should do something special today, but don’t really feel like it… Perhaps we can’t afford to do anything much either.

We don’t have to do something extravagant to show each other love; we don’t have to shower each other in flowers and gifts, spend a night in a posh hotel or go to the best restaurant in town, in order to show that we love each other.

Sometimes, just spending time together is a novelty and to be cherished. Talking about more than logistics, food shopping or dentist’s appointments, can easily slip down on the list of priorities. If we do take the time to sit down and actually talk – about our day, thoughts and feelings – we may realise we do still have things to talk about; we do still have things to learn about one and other.

If you are suffering from Postnatal Depression, Valentine’s Day may be the last thing on your mind. There is no harm however - and could even be more important than ever - to take some time out to sit with each other, even if you feel unable to talk. Being close, hugging, may be what you both need just now. According to a recent study conducted by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, hugging someone for 20 seconds can reduce stress, boost our immune system, improve our mood and help with depression, among other things.

Having a baby can be the most wonderful thing in the world, but in some cases, it is quite the opposite. Most new moms experience the "baby blues" after having a baby and up to a couple of weeks: mood swings, crying and anxiety. Some however, experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression, known as Postnatal Depression, or PND. According to the NHS website, 1 in 10 women experience PND within a year of giving birth and it can also affect fathers and partners.

Suffering with PND isn't a sign of weakness. Perhaps there was a complication while we were giving birth to our baby, or something changed within our circumstances. Seeing all the seemingly perfect, happy new mums around us with their seemingly perfect, happy babies, puts a lot of pressure on some of us. If we don’t feel the euphoria others seem to feel around the new baby - for instance, if ours isn’t sleeping well, cries a lot, or if we can’t get along with breast-feeding – we may feel inadequate as mothers, women, wives, partners...It isn’t hard to understand how, feeling like a failure could make us depressed. It ties in with our fundamental need to feel loved, safe and good enough.

If you are struggling with Postnatal Depression and would like to talk about it, we are here, at Muma Nurture, for you. We have experienced and qualified therapists who know what you are going through. Give us a call or drop us a line!

The counsellor’s room is a space where you can be yourself and talk about anything on your mind, without worrying about feeling guilty of ‘burdening’ anyone. The counsellor is there just for you, to offer an empathic and genuine listening ear, without judgment.

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