Post Natal Depression
Post Natal Depression is not uncommon in women shortly after birth or in the first few weeks following birth, and will normally pass quite soon after a routine is established and mother and baby are happy. It is for some women if not all, a dramatic change from being pregnant with no responsibilities other than to yourself and partner, then in the space of often less than 24 hours you have this tiny bundle totally dependant on you for their survival.
Post natal depression need not be as dramatic as it sounds because apart from breast-feeding, all other tasks involved with caring for this baby can be realistically undertaken by your partner or other members of the family. If you feel tired or overwhelmed, it is important to ask for help in the first few days and weeks. This will help you and help to establish a much better relationship between you and baby.
Fortunately modern times have bought certain bonuses such as disposable nappies and easy cleaning aids, making routines easier to establish and quicker. On the down side we as parents may live further from our extended family than was the case in the past. It is therefore important to share worries and concerns with your midwife, your health visitor, your family doctor or a close friend including your partner!
The baby will hopefully sleep quite a lot during the day in the first few weeks, therefore it is quite sensible, especially if you are breast feeding, to utilize this time yourself and have a little sleep to recharge your batteries rather than say catch up with the ironing!
If depression persists several months after birth and there is a feeling or concern that maybe the child may be at risk, or the mother is at risk of harming herself, then this is more serious and immediate help should be sought via your family doctor. Puerperal Psychosis is fortunately rare but it is nevertheless serious and can be treated.
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