A parent-to-parent voluntary support group

Post Natal Depression

and Cuidiu Support

For most, having a baby is the best experience of your life, for some it is not.....

What is Postnatal Depression?

Is an umbrella term used to describe a range of symptoms which may be Depression,
Anxiety,
Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour,
Post Natal Stress Disorder.

it is not The Baby Blues…

The Baby Blues

Baby Blues are low moods which kick in about day two after birth and usualy lasts only a couple of weeks. Almost 80% of Mums experience moods of  tearyness and feeling low shortly after childbirth. Experts say 'Baby Blues' can be exected and these feelings usually change around again in a short time, usually a couple of weeks.

Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression is much more than the 'baby blues'. Postnatal depression can vary from mild symptoms for some, to very severe for others and symptoms can continue for months or longer.
Typical symptoms are similar to those of depression at other times. You may feel low all the time and have reduced energy levels, feel anxious or stressed and  possibly also have distressing thoughts.
If you're severely affected, you may even feel that life isn't worth living or  have thoughts about harming your baby.. Potnatal depression is quite common, affecting between one and two out of every 10 mothers. It usually affects women in the first year after their baby's birth but you may also have been depressed before having your baby.

How do I get help for Postnatal Depression?

Here is what to do if you are feeling low or think you have postnatal depression according to the HSE.
1.Tell somebody that you feel low. Often just talking and knowing that someone is there to help, can ease your feelings of depression.
2. If you feel you cannot cope tell your partner, close family member or friend that you need some help.
3. Self help:

• Plan extra rest and relaxation including time away from the baby.
• Eat well, a little and often even if not hungry.
• Exercise regularly; even a short walk is helpful.
• Don’t try to do everything yourself, it takes up too much energy.
• Learn to recognise your needs and ask for help.
• Find ways to be kind to yourself, treat yourself.
• Try to speak openly to your partner about how you feel or how he might help.

4. If the symptoms last longer than seven to ten days talk to your Public Health Nurse, Family Doctor or Hospital Doctor about how you are feeling. They are there to help and support you.

Early diagnosis and treatment result in a speedier recovery.
Cuidiu parent to Parent supporters offer a listening ear to Mums who may be feeling low about being a parent or who are depressed. We have two 'Parent Support' coffee mornings a month in Dublin. Click here for more information on Parent Support  or here for contact details of our Parent to Parent Supporters.

How can I support someone wth Postnatal Depression?

It is important to remember that she is coping with a very distressing illness and may not be able to tell you what she needs from you right now.  But in our experience there are many things you can do to help and support her. These are just a suggestions which you may bear in mind when supporting a Mum who is feeliing low or has postnatal depression,

Show her you care without stiffling her
Offer practical help and support in daily routines
Be aware of your attitude to her illness, take her feelings seriously
Encourage her to help with the baby but don't force things
long periods of alone time are not good now, talk with her and lots of encouragement always helps
Choose your words carefully and avoid making comparisons to others
If possible allow her to let off steam.

Cuidiu parent to Parent supporters offer a listening ear to Mums who may be feeling low about being a parent or who are depressed. We have two 'Parent Support' coffee mornings a month in Dublin. Click here for more information on Parent Support  or here for contact details of our Parent to Parent Supporters.

If you want further information please contact www.cuidiuparenthood@gmail.com,

If you would like to attend a support coffee morning  or would like to speak to a Cuidiu Parent Suporter click here www.cuidiu.ie/supports_parenthood

Here are links to other Supports, Resources and Information sites for Postnatal Depression;

HSE web site - Postnatal Depression Page

HSE Brochure for 'PostNatal Depression - A guide for Mothers, Family & Friends'

www.aware.ie - Suport service for people experiencing depression.

PND Ireland - A web site and support group dedicated to postnatal depression

Nurture PND - is a suport and counselling service surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.