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The Baby Whisperer: Postnatal depression - 24 August


Caring for your baby when you have postnatal depression

Working with families in our community, I help quite a few mothers who have been diagnosed as having Postnatal Depression (PND).

As our lifestyles have changed so dramatically over the years and many of the families I see seem to have less and less support over this vulnerable and exhausting time with a baby.

Most mothers struggle with the sleep deprivation and daily rollercoaster rides that you have when learning to read and care for a baby but those suffering from PND it is even harder and that is when we need to seek advice and help on how best to cope on a daily basis.

It is very normal for the majority of mothers to have days where they wish they could wind the clock back, going back to the life they had and were confident in but it is not ok if those days are never-ending.

Helping in private family homes I see so often that mothers are not coping with sleepless nights, unsettled babies and lack of consistency in every day that they face a new mothers, especially those who suffer from PND. 

I am a firm believer in creating a daily routine and teaching families effective settling techniques.

This offers time and confidence and the knowledge of how best to understand their baby.

When obstacles do occur (and they do as all babies continue to change) they are less frequent and easier to manage because of having patterns in place to guide you.

Some things to think about

- If you are struggling to cope each day with your baby and each day feels like you have mountain to climb, I suggest you talk with your doctor or midwife.  It is normal to have 'baby blues' in the first week post delivery but not every day post this period of time.

- Get in touch with the Postnatal Distress Organisation, they run support groups and can talk to you on the phone.

- Create daily routines, attending a workshop/seminar that offers advice on how to create a daily routine.

- Seek advice on some effective settling techniques that enables your baby to sleep well for the majority of the day and night.  There are various options and techniques that can fit in with your believe system.

- Communicate with those close to you, even those in your coffee group because the support you receive when you are honest about your personal struggles will out way the 'old fashioned' stigma that is attached to having such a label of 'Depression'.  I once had two ladies from the same coffee group as clients and both of them had not told any of their fellow mothers what they were struggling with and both thought and shared that they were the only ones not coping. 

Where to go for further info

Talk to your doctor, midwife or Plunket Nurse if you feel any of the above symptoms.

Postnatal Distress Organisation
Ph:  09 836 6967

Natasha Berman
Quintessence Health

Sharlene Poole
Little Miracles Postnatal Care Ltd


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