Postnatal depression in the UK affects almost 25% of mothers in the country. It refers to a type of depression experienced by women 3 weeks after childbirth. Some of its symptoms include:
- Depression and social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Difficulty bonding with and caring for the baby
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Thoughts of harming the baby.
- Insomnia and loss of appetite.
These symptoms affect a mother’s ability to care for their baby. Thus, affecting the physical and psychological development of the infant.
Postpartum Depression: Its Short and Long-Term Effects on the Baby
The bond between a mother and her infant plays a huge role in the baby’s development in the long-run. This becomes compromised when the mother experiences signs of depression after birth.
Postpartum depression causes short-term effects on the baby, such as delayed growth and emotional development. But it can also result in long-term consequences for the little one, including:
- Slow cognitive and speech development
- Have trouble with independency and discipline
- Social anxiety
- Behavioural problems
- Increased risk for developing mental disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD
With postpartum depression, mothers often feel like they don’t have it in them to properly care for themselves and their infant. The overwhelming fear makes it difficult to function well. Not only does this harm the mother, but the baby’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
4 Ways to Overcome Postnatal Depression in the UK
Postpartum depression does not mean that you’re a weak person. It is a pregnancy complication, and it is very manageable with proper treatment, including:
All mothers need is a safe space to talk about the fears and overwhelming anxiety that comes with motherhood. However, those with postpartum disorder need it more than most.
Find a trusted friend or a trained counsellor to share your thoughts and feelings with. A good listening support system can actually help unburden your heavy heart.
Furthermore, having someone to talk to makes you feel reassured and less worried. It makes all the difference in the world and might just be the key to help you break through this dark fog.
Doulas refer to trained professionals that guide mothers through their pregnancy journey. They assist women during labour, birth, and even in afterbirth care.
A doula in the UK also offers mental and emotional support to mothers. Besides the physical support, they also impart knowledge and encouragement to both parents.
They will help you process the many emotions that come with pregnancy and childbirth. Their presence alone will make you feel safe and reassured that everything is going to be okay.
First-time mother or not, cut yourself some slack. Being pregnant, giving birth, and becoming a mother all at once is beyond challenging.
So, instead of stressing out, give yourself some “me time” instead. Always remember that it’s okay to take a breather. In fact, you deserve it. You can start practising a healthy lifestyle, such as proper diet and exercise, while you focus on yourself.
Talking for Therapy is Ready to Help
You don’t need to deal with your problems all by yourself. Seeking help from a counsellor when things get overwhelming is not only healthy, but it can also save lives.
Our advisors are always open 24/7 to listen to your thoughts, feelings, hopes, worries, and more. Book an appointment today so you can start your healing journey. Let’s talk about YOU.