Having a baby can be the most wonderful thing in the world, but it isn't always. Giving birth to a baby can trigger lots of powerful emotions like excitement and euphoria, but also, in many cases, anxiety and fear. For some people, having a baby can result in something we may not expect, depression.
Most new moms experience the Baby Blues after having a baby; they usually begin within the first two to three days after delivery, can last up to two weeks and include mood swings, crying, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Some new mums however, experience a more severe, long-lasting form of depression, known as Postnatal Depression, or PND. If we have suffered from mental health problems previously in our life, we are more prone to going through PND.
According to the NHS website, 1 in 10 women experience PND within a year of giving birth and it does also affect fathers and partners.
Suffering with PND doesn’t mean we have a character flaw or that we are weak. Perhaps there was a complication while we were giving birth to our baby, or it has something to do with our surroundings and circumstances. Many of us feel pressured by all the seemingly perfect, happy new mums around us with their seemingly perfect, happy babies, making everything look so simple, when we’re in fact finding motherhood and all the changes it brings, very difficult. If we don’t feel the euphoria others seem to feel around the new baby - if ours isn’t sleeping well, cries a lot, or if we can’t get along with breast-feeding – to name just a few common reasons - 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, good enough - our self-worth.
It is important that we openly talk about PND, so that we lower the stigma and realise it is completely ‘normal’. The quicker we, as new mums, realise this, the quicker we can learn how to manage our symptoms and bond with our new baby. PND is very difficult and can feel insurmountable, but there is help out there and, PND is treatable. Many women find having counselling - a talking therapy - helpful.
The therapeutic relationship – that between a counsellor and the client – is different from that betaeen friends, colleagues or family members. The counsellor’s room is a space where we can be ourselves and talk about anything on our mind, without the worry of ‘burdening’ anyone. The therapeutic hour when we see our counsellor, is just ours and we use it as we choose; the counsellor is there just for us, to offer an empathic and genuine listening ear, without judgment.
At Muma Nurture, we listen and we understand, without passing judgment. Our qualified therapists are here to help. Please get in contact if you would like to give counselling a go. You don't have to suffer alone.