Let’s get real, this motherhood gig is not an easy one. And to make things harder, sadly in our society, pregnancy and motherhood are often represented in idealised ways. From glorious pregnancy photoshoots to Insta-ready newborns, the reality of baby life can be far removed from that initially imagined.
If a woman or her partner’s expectations are very different from reality, it can result in adjustment difficulties, and this can lead to depression and anxiety – both pre- and post-natal.
Postnatal depression can affect 1 in 10 women whilst they are pregnant, and 1 in 7 women during the first year after birth (beyondblue.org.au).
Postnatal depression is not your fault. You’re not a bad person, you’re not a bad mother and you are not alone. Sleep deprivation alone can cause significant impacts on your general mood. Couple that with the trauma of birth, social isolation and an adjustment to motherhood, and these can all cause difficulties in coping with your new role as a mum.
Postnatal depression is not your fault. You’re not a bad person, you’re not a bad mother and you are not alone.
Here are some strategies you can put in place in pregnancy and the postnatal period, to reduce your risks:
Signs to watch out for are:
Eliza Pike – Blackbird Counselling
Eliza Pike is a Clinical Social Worker and the Founder of Blackbird Counselling. She specialises in pregnancy and postnatal counselling, including fertility counselling, grief and loss, adjustment to motherhood and maternal mental health.