"life is not a having and a getting, but a being and a becoming".

Matthew Arnold
Post Natal Depression

The giving birth to a new life is a major event within a woman's life. We are conditioned into believing that this will automatically be experienced as joyous and celebratory, the reality may be somewhat different.

After the birth of a baby 50-70% of newly delivered mothers may experience what is termed as a transient form of depression most commonly called "The Blues", the character of which is weeping and a feeling of emotional upset for the new mother which usually takes place between the second and tenth day after the delivery of the baby. There is also a more extreme persistent form of "The Blues", which for some mothers may progress into longer term Post Natal Depression beginning within the first two weeks of delivery or later for example at 3 -4 months which may not be diagnosed. 10-15% of mothers may suffer Post Natal Depression. It can occur after the birth of the first baby or any subsequent births, however having Post Natal Depression after one birth does not necessarily mean there will be a recurrence.

There are many varied causes giving explanation of the condition.

May be a biological cause
Changes in the hormone levels after delivery
A reaction to the emotional and physical stress connected to the birth experience
Changes in role
Loss of personal identity
Feeling isolated
Lack of support
Loss of financial status
Poor relationship with own mother
Previous history of depression (either self or within family)
Life stress, financial emotional social
Early loss of own mother

Symptoms of Post Natal Depression

Low mood
Sadness, tearfulness, sleep disturbance
Panic Attacks
Fear of going out
Obsession or irrational thoughts
Suicidal thoughts
Self attacking
Low self-esteem
Feeling of guilt
Negative perceptions (about self, others, world)
Lack of confidence
Separation anxiety (over protection of baby)
Disengagement with baby
Feeling of failure
Concerns over health issues
Palpitations, headaches, stomach upsets

Within my practice I have many years experience as a counsellor in working with Post Natal Depression. I work in an holistic way in order to provide the best outcome. This involves looking at both the physical, mental and emotional aspects of my clients life. The overall impact of depression affects the whole family unit. Early intervention proves positive enabling change and growth within relationships with mother baby and other family members. My clients are supported and helped by being enabled to share their thoughts feelings within a safe, non-judgemental environment wherein they gain insight into the causes of their depression and find ways of working through these difficulties with someone trained in this sphere. Post Natal Depression is a treatable illness, there is help available in order to overcome it.

Roslin Brown MBACP