Perinatal depression and anxiety can be hard to get your head around. Aren’t new parents supposed to be happy?! This collision of expectations can make it difficult for the many women who suffer from mental health problems after childbirth. According to our women’s physiotherapists and psychologists, some new mums struggle in silence, fearing judgment if they share their dark or confused thoughts and feelings. And many suffer the wrath of a harsh inner-critic who says ‘just snap out of it!’
The reality is that perinatal depression, anxiety and even psychosis are serious conditions that affect many new mothers (and even some partners). Such mental and emotional health issues may be even more likely to emerge in the context of COVID restrictions such as limited visiting for partners, family and friends.
Importantly, just like any postnatal complication such as prolapse, these challenges require a period of healing and, often, specialised treatment.
To mark PANDA week, we’re encouraging new mums and their partners, family, friends and health professionals to look out for changes in their own and their loved ones’ mood or behaviour and to gently offer support. For checklists, tips and resources for accessing help, visit the @PANDANational website. #keepsoaring