Monday, 29 September 2014

Women's mental health after giving birth: an expert by experience shares her story.

About a month after my first child was born I had post natal depression. Didn't know anything about it or reconsider what was happening. I just found it difficult to bond with my daughter, I was able to care for her needs, but I was sad and troubled, very tearful, and had difficulty in cuddling and nursing her, which added to my misery. I felt ill physically as well as mentally.

I was lucky to have had a good health visitor, who saw I was different from the first couple of times she had visited and took me to my GP where I found support through the coming months.

When my second child was born I was very aware of the symptoms and sought help as soon as I recognised the signs so did not suffer so badly, the second time. There are such high expectations on a pregnant woman from family friends and medical staff, it is a shock after the birth when all this expected wonderment and fulfilment is not there, then to feel depressed as well is hard enough.

Psychosis may be rare and only affect a few, but during the pregnancy it's not mentioned, post natal depression can be dismissed if you ask about it, yet forwarded would be better, for the woman and their partners.

There should be more research, has there ever been any?

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