What is postnatal depression?

For many people becoming a mother (or parent) is a mixed experience. For some, one of life’s most joyful experiences also becomes one of their most challenging.  Psychologists know that any difficult experience increases the risk of a person developing some level of anxiety or depression.

Postnatal depression (PND) and depression are actually the same thing. Depression is considered postnatal depression if it presents within the first 12 months following the birth of a baby.

What are some of the risk factors for postnatal depression?

A great deal of research into postnatal depression has focused on trying to identify who is most likely to develop depression after having a baby.  Consistently, findings suggest that new parents with one or more of the following risk factors are more likely to suffer from postnatal depression than those without:

  • a history of depression, especially depression during pregnancy
  • a family history of depression
  • significant life stressors before and after the birth, especially related to have a baby such as a previous pregnancy loss or loss of a baby
  • problems with your baby’s health or behaviour
  • a difficult or complicated birth
  • limited social network or problems with your relationship with your partner/husband

Can postnatal depression be treated?

Fortunately, there are many services and therapies available for new parents with postnatal depression and the recovery rate is very high. Receiving psychological counselling early often prevents depression from becoming more severe, reduces its duration and can also help a person develop skills to better manage external life-stressors for the future.

Revive Health and Happiness offers psychological counselling to parents who may be experiencing depression and anxiety.  A significant Medicare Rebate can be obtained by seeing your GP and asking for a GP Mental Health Care Plan.

If you would like to make an appointment or learn more about Revive, please visit our website at www.revivehealthandhappiness.com.au 

You might also like to take a look at the Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia and Beyond Blue websites for more information.