Postnatal Depression (PND)

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Pregnancy and motherhood is a challenging time for many women.  Reduced opportunities for sleep, trying to balance the ongoing requirements of home, children, work and relationships, and pressure to be a “Superwoman” can often leave mothers feeling overwhelmed. In addition, mothers may have to manage feeding or sleep difficulties, or they may find it difficult to bond with their baby. This can place enormous strain on a woman’s wellbeing and may lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety and depression. If these feelings continue for more than a few weeks a woman can become so overwhelmed that she may lose the ability to see a way through the problems, and may even feel suicidal. 

Postnatal Depression or PND is when depression occurs in the context of having a baby - often within the first two years of birth. Between 13-20% of women will experience postnatal depression, with research showing that antenatal depression (depression during pregnancy) and experiences of childhood trauma are associated with an increased risk of developing PND. Moreover, one third of women also report experiencing a traumatic birth or distressing event during pregnancy, which in itself may be traumatising. 

It is important for women who may be experiencing PND to be able to speak with a trained health professional about their concerns. At the Psychology, Trauma & Mindfulness Centre we can assess and discuss a range of treatment options for women who believe they may be experiencing PND.