Women who have experienced miscarriage can be more at risk of postpartum depression or anxiety. Early intervention and support is crucial.
Postnatal Depression and Anxiety
In a perfect world it would be wonderful to think that we would all become pregnant when we wanted to, miscarriage would be extremely rare, and when we had a baby, we would exist in a bubble of newborn bliss.
But as we know, the world is not perfect and things do not always live up to the dream we have in our minds. And this is definitely the case with Postnatal Depression & Anxiety (PNDA).
PND is not the same as the typical ‘baby blues’ that occur around day 4 post birth. Generally, the baby blues are due to the hormonal changes going on in your body after giving birth, but it shouldn’t last more than a few days. Riding it out by being kind to yourself, having as much support around you as possible and not overdoing it should be enough to see you through until it passes.
If, however, the tears, sadness and anxiety don’t pass after a few weeks or you feel you’re getting worse, then it’s worth seeing your GP or early childhood nurse as it’s possible that you’re suffering from PNDA.
Add to this the fact that you’ve had miscarriage/s leading up to this pregnancy and birth, or you’ve gone through years of infertility or conceived via IVF, your postpartum wellbeing has a higher chance of being at risk.
Symptoms of Postnatal Depression and Anxiety include (but are not limited to):
- Panic attacks
- Persistent generalised worry, often around the health or wellbeing of your baby
- Loss of confidence and self esteem
- Fear of being alone with your baby
- Constant sadness or crying
- Withdrawal from family and friends
- Development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours
- Changes in appetite
- Sleep problems (hard to pinpoint given you’re probably not getting much sleep anyway)
It’s important to remember that even with this list of symptoms to look out for, it can still be hard for you to self-diagnose PNDA or for your partner to recognise the symptoms as anything other than adjusting to life with a newborn. This is why if weeks are going by and you’re still not feeling any better, it’s wise to seek further advice from a healthcare professional.
PNDA is nothing to be ashamed of and once you’ve sought help either in the form of counselling or medication, you’ll start feeling much better and will be able to find joy in the little things again, especially with your beautiful baby!
For more comprehensive information about PNDA and postpartum wellbeing, please visit: http://www.panda.org.au