The birth of a child is usually an equally happy and exhausting time. Welcoming new life into the world produces a huge personal adjustment and an acute realisation of the responsibility that childbirth brings.
Following the birth of a child, a woman will not only be physically exhausted but will often feel emotionally overwhelmed which can impact on their mood state and their ability to adapt to a new parenting phase.
Untreated, this change in mood state can cause significant psychological stress for mothers and their families. There are three main mood states affecting women post childbirth each of which has varying degrees of severity.
Approximately 80% of women experience the baby blues between three and ten days after giving birth and is characterised by feelings of irritability, tearfulness, anxiety and insomnia. The baby blues are a normal postpartum response and can be managed with gentle understanding and support from family members and medical team during the initial hospital stay.
In the first year following childbirth, up to 15% of women and 10% of men will experience a change in their mood with symptoms that exist for more than a month. The most commonly reported symptoms of postnatal depression include (but are not limited to) the following:
- Feeling tearful / crying often;
- Feeling overwhelmed;
- Difficulties bonding with baby;
- Doubting ability as a parent;
- Sleep disturbance unrelated to baby’s needs;
- Confusion and/or memory loss;
- Negative thoughts that become intrusive or ruminative;
- Fear of being alone; and
- Feeling socially isolated.
This is a less common occurrence and is considered the most severe of the postnatal mood disorders. Symptoms of this mood disorder include a bizarre pattern of thinking, hallucinations, at-risk behaviours and an inappropriate response to the baby’s welfare in additions to the display of worrying interactions with other family members. This disorder requires a hospital stay to ensure the safety of mother and child.
Post natal depression treatment with Louise Spencer
Your psychological safety is a priority for Louise as she will work with you to reassure you that changes in your mood following childbirth are normal and treatable. Engaging with Louise to address issues relating to being a new parent will focus on symptom management, improving your understanding of your mood state and increasing your resilience. Louise will offer you a treatment program that focuses on your immediate needs in a secure and safe therapeutic environment which will ultimately restore your confidence as a parent and as a person.