One in seven new Mums will suffer Post Natal Depression*, or PND, and I am one of them. Unfortunately, I had it after the birth of both of my children.
PND is a hard thing to live with and there are many causes and many strategies to help Mums get well again.
One of the most common treatments is medication. Many new Mums see that taking medication is a sign of weakness and try to find other methods of coping. I completely understand that feeling. Even now there are times when depression kicks in and I am reluctant to see the doctor and be put back on medication.
Think about it, if you have a broken leg, you will take pain killers, especially just after it has happened and the pain is really bad. Even if you have a headache or a cold, most of us will reach for the medicine cabinet. It is difficult to understand, sometimes, why mental illness is any different.
Don’t be afraid of medication. If you are breastfeeding, there are drugs you can take that are safe (I breastfed both my children until well after their first birthday’s and was on medication for PND). Your GP will be able to advise you of the best medication for you, and they will be able to work with you to find the one that works best. There is no “one size fits all” approach to treating depression and if you or someone you know has it, you will need to find what works for you. If your doctor recommends medication, don’t be afraid of it.
With me, I found the medication helped get my mood back up to a level where I could start using other strategies to help get well.
If you would like more information on PND, visit the PaNDa website. They have some great fact sheets about it, including strategies to help support mothers with PND.