It is important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you may be depressed, as your symptoms could worsen over time making it hard for you, your baby and your family. Many women experience ‘baby blues’ which may include feeling a bit down, anxious or tearful, this tends not to last any longer than two weeks. If you experience these symptoms and they persist you may have post-natal depression. PND can start at any time in the year after giving birth.
Symptoms could include:
- A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world.
- Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time.
- Trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
- Difficulty bounding with your baby
- Withdrawing from other people
- Problems with concentration and making decisions
- Frightening thought-for example about wanting to hurt your baby.
Pre-natal depression and other common difficulties
About a third of Mother’s who experience post-natal depression have also experienced pre-natal/ antenatal depression. Prenatal depression can be caused by the physical changes you go through during pregnancy; hormonal changes, severe nausea, emotional changes, previous miscarriages and still births, previous history of depression or anxiety disorder and social causes/ pressures. Again it is important to seek help early as possible an individual or as a couple to help you with your symptoms and to feel psychologically prepared for parenthood.
Other post birth problems associated with child birth which we can help you with include:
- panic attacks,
- and birth trauma/ post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
At The Chelmsford Wellbeing Centre our BABCP Accredited Therapists can offer 1:1 Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and help teach you tools to manage your pre or post birth difficulties. One of our therapists is also a qualified breast feeding peer supporter, so if you are having problems with breast feeding, support could be given around this as part of your therapy.
As parents we know how difficult childcare can be so where possible we will try and make therapy accessible. Depending on availability we may be able to offer home visits or skype, phone and email sessions, but for distance therapy options we would prefer an initial face to face meet to assess for suitability.
For pre-natal anxiety and birth trauma cases we have been known to carry out exposure tasks at the hospital that you gave birth (depending on its location) where appropriate, to help you feel prepared if its pre-birth/ labour anxiety or if post birth to help you comes to terms with a difficult incident/ loss of a baby.