Last week we talked about what to do if you are feeling that scarey-out-of-control mother overwhelm. We touched on what we can do in-the-moment to feel more in control, calmer and supported.
But what if the overwhelm keeps building and you feel like you just can’t cope?
You might find yourself crying easily, worrying a lot, not sleeping when you should be.
Some mums mistake it for sleep deprivation. How can you tell if you’ve got it?
Mothers with PND usually ‘feel down’ and have symptoms that last 2 weeks or more. Some of the things they might say are:
“I’m so worried all the time”
“I constantly feel like crying”
“I can’t concentrate. I’m forgetting things……just can’t think straight”
“I feel guilty that I’ve got such a beautiful baby and still feel sad/cranky”
“I’m tired….soooo tired…but just can’t seem to sleep well”
“ I just don’t want to see anyone”
“things feel out of control”
You can’t accurately diagnose yourself with PND. Its much better to get a clinical diagnosis using Depression Assessment tools used by professionals such as doctors, perinatal mental health nurses and psychologists.
PND is an illness, just like being unwell physically. It can be mild, moderate or severe. It can be treated. You can get better. It is common…. one in every 6 mothers get it. …. That almost 20%
It can strike ANYONE. YES, even YOU!
No one is exempt. I never thought it would happen to ME.
I felt the stigma back then.
I was 28 years old with my second child…… a Midwife and Paediatric Nurse.
I was meant to be able to cope…..or so I thought!
I wish I wasn’t so brainwashed about what I thought a fabulous, caring and competent mother ‘looked like’. That being unwell didn’t make me any less a person or mother.
I didn’t get treatment straight away. I wish I had. Lucky mine was more of a milder case than it can be for others.
Now I know SO MUCH MORE. I’ve since helped many mothers and children experiencing anxiety and depression.
AND I WANT TO HELP YOU AND ANYONE YOU KNOW!
What to do about it
- Be REAL about whats happening to you. Talk it over with someone you trust…friend, doctor, counselor. Having the courage to do this is a strength NOT a weakness.
- Even though you feel vulnerable….keep asking for help. Sometimes it takes a few appointments/ phone calls to find the right support for you.
- Recognise negative thoughts or constant worrying. Write these down then put them aside to take to your doctor/health practitioner or counselor. Little worries can become BIG worries if we don’t talk them through. Who are you going to talk with? Make an appointment TODAY
- Say to the doctor/health practitioner/counselor “I can’t stop the thoughts and feelings that are getting me down. I want to enjoy my baby. Can you help me understand what is happening to me?
- Be open to treatment recommendations. Some mums do best on medication while others manage with psychotherapy/ counseling. Often a combination of both works best.
- You might like to see a natural health practitioner. Some natural remedies such as Omega 3 and St Johns Wart have been shown to help with mild depression, however a practitioner can give you more specific remedies to help with your individual situation.
- Exercise- put baby in the pram and just walk. Did you know that exercise may be as effective as medication in relieving mild depression?
- Put on a yoga DVD and have baby floor time together. Put a playlist together of what used to be your favourite music and have 10 minute dance breaks three times a day!
- Commit to socialize even though you don’t want to. Isolation and feelings of loneliness can make depression worse. Go online and find some mothers and babies groups in your area.
- Allow yourself a basic routine so that you continue to put one foot in front of the other. After your baby feeds in the morning have a shower and get dressed for the day with the intention of going out somewhere. Organise dinner for that evening then get yourself out of the house…shopping, mothers group, the park, an appointment.
- Your library, bookshop or audible online books will have self-help books. Find one that inspires and uplifts you.
- Continue to do activities you enjoyed in the past…things that used to be nurturing and fun.
- If your baby is unsettled and not sleeping well refer to the Baby Sleep Action Plan ebook (purchase in this websites shop for only $9)
- Be willing to receive. You give so much. Let others have the pleasure of giving to you
So Take Action NOW
- Ring someone TODAY to talk or to make an appointment. Your worries need to be discussed. Do it …yes….DO IT . I’m so proud of you
- Get a notepad to write down the negative thoughts or worries you have. Don’t dwell on it. This is the stuff you get to take to your appointments.
- Write an affirmation for your fridge/toilet door like: My baby needs me to get the help I deserve. I have the courage to take the next step.
- Print off the list above and put it somewhere visible. Highlight the steps you think might help.
- Start taking ACTION. Plan what you are going to do differently tomorrow. What do you need to do TODAY so this can happen? Do it girl, DO IT!!! I’ve got your back. I believe in you.
Lets face it….. Motherhood is the hardest job you will ever do. To have PND on top of that is something that no one should have to handle alone.
I’m so proud of you for taking the step to read this. Thank you for caring enough about yourself and your baby.
I really care about you. I want you to get the help you need so you can be the open-hearted happy mother that you know you can be.
Please let me know how you go in the comments below …..or email me [email protected]
HUGE love and hugs