Postnatal depression affects 1 in 6 mothers and is a serious health condition. Along with depression many mothers experience anxiety and often trauma.
Postnatal Depression often occurs when women have been depressed during their pregnancy, after a traumatic birth experience, if they have low social support, financial difficulties, more than one young child, and when there are physical health problems.
Women may experience:
- negative emotions;
- cry more often;
- feel flat or unmotivated;
- increased irritability;
- and after some weeks or months of distress they may feel that life is not worth living.
Depression is a serious health condition that can last for weeks, months or years. When there are complicating factors such as trauma during the labour or birth, domestic violence in the partner relationship, or over-burden caused by having multiple young children, then women are often overwhelmed and unable to see a way through the problems.
Counselling by a qualified psychologist or therapist is a great way for women to find the extra support and care they need during this time.
There are many strategies that may prove helpful and counselling can be effective if the strategies help women to arise to the challenge and burden of the growing family, resolving unsupportive relationships, making decisions on managing a career, and discussing traumatic events that may have occurred along the way.
Infant mental health is equally important as the mother’s emotional health and there are many way to provide counselling to both mother and infant. Infants are eligible for a mental health plan under Medicare if there are emotional health concerns.
Author: Vivian Jarrett MAPS, MAICD, B Psych (hon), GCert (ResCom)
***Finalist Telstra Business Women’s Awards Qld – Entrepreneur
Vivian Jarrett is a psychologist, passionate about providing high quality psychology services to Australians from all walks of life.
She has worked extensively with women, especially during pregnancy and the ante-natal period.