When women and couples embark on the journey of parenthood very few anticipate that depression could become part of their lives. Not to be confused with the Baby Blues or the very serious Postpartum Psychosis, Postnatal Depression affects around 15-20% of women and 10% of men.
A women’s mental and physical wellbeing are affected as a result of postnatal depression. She is often trying to manage her anxiety, stress and sadness along with poor sleep. The flow on is often a loss of confidence, low self-esteem and feelings of isolation. Father’s also often struggle as they are coming to terms with their role as a parent as well as trying to understand and support their partner.
If you think you are experiencing depression, please jump to the support services listed at the bottom of this page.
Managing Postnatal Depression
There is no single way to manage postnatal depression, management is multi-pronged. The most important and often most difficult step is early diagnosis. Mothers are under enormous pressure to keep up the appearance of coping so when things are not going as anticipated they are often reluctant to speak.
If you are feeling you are not coping it is important to seek help. If you see another mother who is sad or anxious reach out to her. You may turn out to be the life line she needs.
How Baby Massage can help
Research has confirmed that the Baby Blues and Postnatal Depression can be helped by baby massage.
In regards to postnatal depression, early diagnosis, practical and emotional support, counselling and sometimes medication are all important elements in recovery, baby massage can also have a major contributing factor.
Massage will help improve a baby’s sleep and also reduce crying time which is an enormous benefit to an exhausted Mum. The process of massaging a baby can decrease levels of stress hormones and enhance bonding as she becomes more confident and comfortable handling her baby, and reading their cues and body language.
Never underestimate the power of positive touch!
If you require assistance speak to your doctor.
The Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) operates Australia’s only FREE National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression.
Please visit their website or call the Helpline https://www.panda.org.au/
Further Information and Support
Below are links to a few websites which provide more information and support services for postnatal depression:
- PANDA, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia: https://www.panda.org.au/
- Parentline, Signs & Symptoms of Postnatal Depression: https://parentline.com.au/parents-carers/issues/postnatal-depression
- Beyond Blue, Pregnancy & New Parents: https://healthyfamilies.beyondblue.org.au/pregnancy-and-new-parents
- Time, The Difference Between Postpartum Depression and Postpartum Psychosis: https://time.com/4377455/postpartum-depression-postpartum-psychosis-symptoms/
- Postpartum Adjustment Support Society, Baby Blues vs. Postpartum Depression vs. Postpartum Psychosis: http://passnc.org/faq/babybluesvsppdpppsychosis/
- American Pregnancy Association, Baby Blues: https://americanpregnancy.org/first-year-of-life/baby-blues/