The baby blues, peri and post natal depression. This episode we delve into a topic that until quite recently was a secret women often suffered in silence. Survivors join us to share their touching stories. We discuss recognising the signs and how to find help.
Watch segments from Episode 11 of Mums & Bubs and access great articles about the topics discussed below.
Dr Martine Walker emphasises that the ‘baby blues’ are perfectly normal and are due to the massive hormonal changes that occur after the birth of your baby. New mums may feel teary and low for around 24 hours or perhaps a few days but this passes and as Sheryl Sidery says can sometimes be beneficial. A mum suffering from postnatal depression will not feel the passing of this phase.
So where does a mothers group fit into the picture for a new mum? Sheryl thinks that a mothers group where you are forming friendships and gaining support from like minded women is vital for women. Lisa Gould, who is a PND survivor, can see both the benefits and the pressure a mother’s group can place on a new mum. She recalls thinking how all the other mums were coping and she wasn’t.
Kelly Schofield, another mum who has suffered from PND, felt disappointed by her experience of mothers group as every one chatted about the superficial day to day activities of their babies and no one really asked each other about how they were really coping, so the real support that she sought wasn’t offered.
Dr Martine Walker provides an overview of the steps in getting help when you think you may be suffering from postnatal depression. She thinks that making the first step on your road to recovery is often the hardest for a new mum. The realisation that things are not OK can take some time to come to terms with but Martine’s experience is that they are usually open to the idea and are pleased to have someone suggest they need help and open the discussion.
There are lots of great support agencies and places where women can seek the help they need. A great starting place is with your local doctor or Early Childhood Health Nurse. Sheryl Sidery, midwife, explains that there are very good screening processes in place where new mums are asked really quite personal questions to help get an understanding of the level of risk that the mum may be at.
Once postnatal depression has been recognised there are a few ways of treating the illness. Martine says that drugs may be used as part of the treatment and are very effective, and while they will not solve the problem, they are a great tool in allowing a mum to reach a point where the other therapies can help them. The recent changes to legislation mean that there is now a Medicare rebate for psychological treatment. This means more mums can access counselling services which are the real answer for a mum who is suffering PND.
The key message from today’s discussion is to ask for help without any shame, there are people all around you to help.
Katrina Richardson brings her daughter Maddy on to the set of Mums & Bubs and shows us just how easy it is to incorporate a massage routine in to your day with your baby. Sheryl Sidery, midwife, suggests that massaging your baby can hlep with the bonding process between parent and baby. For more information and simple techniques to use for each stage in your baby’s life, check out the Huggies website.
Brett Osmond, from the Huggies Book Club, brings in a few great titles for the mums. First, Brooke Shields recent release Down Came the Rain, which has received rave reviews and a great deal of publicity, in part because of the comments made by Tom Cruise about PND not being real.
The girls also discuss a book written by a previous guest on the show, Alison Osbourne. Her book, the Post Baby Conversation is full of insights into how to maintain your relationship after your baby arrives into your newly expanded family. Both of these books are available now from the Huggies Book Club and can be delivered to your door. Find out more.