Charlie O'Brien blog: Baby blues and coping with PND
Last week I published a video on my Youtube channel about my experiences of the baby blues and ways I found to cope.
It’s very relevant in my life at the moment because I gave birth to my second child, Luna, three weeks ago.
Channel Mum, who I make parenting videos for, has been running a mental health fortnight – addressing and talking about the issues of postnatal depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns.
I suffered with quite severe baby blues after the birth of my son two and a half years ago. The combination of a difficult labour and recovery and just the shock of becoming a parent meant that I found the start of motherhood harder than I’d anticipated.
Looking back I think I was probably suffering from a degree of PND – but I was too proud to seek help.
So after I gave birth to Luna recently (four weeks early) I knew to be vigilant about the signs of the baby blues and knew to expect them.
Sure enough – on days four and five when my milk came in, I became extremely tearful and felt a bit helpless. It didn’t help that we had a longer than anticipated stay in hospital due to Luna’s early arrival.
But the difference this time is that I’ve been able to rationalise my feelings – because I know it’s all very normal.
In the video I made I talk about five ways I’ve helped myself to cope during the blues:
So far – I’ve been lucky. I feel mentally quite well. I do still have spells when I cry, but I think that’s just feeling a bit overwhelmed by life and motherhood.
But this isn’t always the case. The statistics are actually quite frightening;
Four out of five mums have mental health issues but only 7% of pregnant women and new mums get specialist care. 70% of these women will ignore their symptoms, play them down and try to hide them, which leads to suicide being the number one cause of death during pregnancy and one year after birth. This is why it’s so important to seek help if you think you might be suffering from maternal mental health problems. Source Channel Mum
If you’re reading this and are not feeling yourself, please know it’s Ok to not be OK. There is help out there.
I’m very aware that PND can develop at any time so I will be keeping a check on my own mental health. Thank goodness it’s now a conversation that is being had.
SOME USEFUL PND LINKS