Post Natal or Post Partum Depression (PND) can occur within the first 12 months following the birth of a child. While it is quite common to experience feelings of anxiety and depression when adjusting to the challenges of parenthood; PND differs in that these symptoms may be more severe, last for more than 2 weeks, and interfere with your general daily functioning. PND is estimated to affect up to 1 in seven (16%) women giving birth in Australia.
Whilst it is difficult to identify a known cause of PND, certain factors such as a personal or family history of mental health problems; alcohol and/or drug problems; lack of available support; current or past history of abuse and negative or stressful life events (e.g. previous miscarriage or stillbirth, loss of job or moving house) have been shown to increase your risk of developing these symptoms following child birth. It is important to ask for help (both practical and emotional support) if you are experiencing any signs of PND. Ensuring that you possess a strong social support network is also beneficial. It is recommended that you consult with a GP and / or Psychologist to discuss a suitable treatment plan which may involve counselling or medication.