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Postnatal depression

My thoughts on post natal depression

For help with Post Natal Depression, please contact PNDSA.

I’ve written quite a bit about my experience with post natal depression before, and today I wanted to start a conversation with you on this topic. If you experienced any form of post natal depression as a new Mom, I’d love to hear what you think?

To prove to you that it’s not just me, and it’s not just you, that feels / felt this way, here are a few more Moms on the topic:

Shannon McLaughlin

About Shannon McLaughlin

Shannon is a mama to her busy little toddler Leo, who is the inspiration behind her business, Ubuntu Baba. She strives to create the simplest and comfiest baby carrier on the market, helping new moms to step out into the world again with confidence, freedom and style.

8 Comments

  • Maryanne Dyson says:

    Hi Shannon, well done for posting a video and telling you story! My main struggle was not being independent anymore. Like you say on your Home Page, you envisioned having coffee with your friends while baby sleeps etc…. I couldn’t just jump in my car and go to the shop or even the shower……… I had to look after baby ( How do I do that at the same time) I was also on anxiety meds before I had my baby and having the help from my mom has truly helped me cope and be able to slowly adjust to “knowing” what I need to do.
    I may have baby number 2 in a few years and will def get one of your Ubuntu Baby Carriers :)

  • zarina says:

    Thanks for sharing Shannon.
    being a therapist myself, i anticipated depression and tried putting in ‘buffers’ and all sorts of protective measures prior the birth of my first baby. for example i started creating a supportive space by making friends with other mummy’s- to- be and started a group chat with them, saved up money to have my son attend creche for 2 mornings a week to relieve me for a while (as i couldn’t find a reliable nanny ), i tried to get back into gym, read books on child rearing, made an effort to attend group workshops etc etc. Yet still, the adjustment of having a baby and being a mother is enormous, irrespective of who you are and what your life circumstances are. My anxiety levels were rocket high, almost all the time:constantly ensuring that i am giving and doing my best for my little boy. you are right about society, and the additional challenges that that presents (i could write a book on this alone).
    couple of things I’ve learnt along the way:

    – the guilt doesn’t dissipate, you just learn to cope with it better. (when confronted with an option, you choose the one with lesser guilt).
    – you, being with your baby every second of every day is not the best thing for you or your baby.
    – the blues can be shaken off
    -Being a mother self sacrificial… the sooner i gave in to this and accepted this new reality (that time will never be mine, that i will always have things to do, that the guilt never goes away, that a bubble bath is a luxury, that my life, feelings and decisions will always take my baby into consideration) the easier it became.

    • Thanks for your comment Zarina! Yes, the acceptance is definitely a milestone. Once you accept your new life, you can then start to warm up to it more and enjoy it for what it is. People always ask, “so is it easier now that he’s bigger?” and I always say, well it doesn’t get easier, things just change and there are new challenges to face, but you are stronger and more accepting of these changes.

  • Suzaan says:

    Yes! Sounds like we had the same sort of situations. Ftm and my birth went ok, just not 100% what I wanted. I had to get an induction otherwise my parents would miss the birth and I was 41w1d already….the day was so chaotic…some other unplanned procedures (early epidural, anti-biotics, ventouse ect) and then the breastfeeding. Omw!!!! I had the help of a wonderful lactation consultant but baby just didn’t suckle well. He lost so much weight and at the end of the day I was advised to feed from the breast and supplement expressed milk. Terribly difficult if your baby NEVER sleeps and cries constantly. So we gave formula as well. Breastfeeding, expressing and formula….nipple cream, expressing parts wash sterilize, bottles wash and sterilize…so much work. He got nipple confusion at 6 weeks and couldn’t get him back to the breast. My milk supply quickly diminshed to nothing and I stopped expressing at 12weeks. I was in constant turmoil. I wasn’t fit to be a mom. I am doing everything wrong. I wanted to leave my son and my husband. They would be better off without me anyway. My husband had to take my son from me at several occasions cause I would get to point where I felt I could throw him against the wall. I had anxiety attacks on a daily basis. This was such new emotions. I have never been an anxious or depressed person. It was around 12weeks when my husband said that I should get some help. He doesn’t recognize his wife anymore. So I did. I contacted a counsellor registered at the pnd society of sa. We spoke, I cried, I filled in the depression and anxiety form to diagnose and as it turned out I wasnt just experiencing normal anxiety at adjusting to being a mom. I had very high anxiety scores as well as testing high for depression. She said medication wasn’t always necessary as talking can also help just as much. And I did feel soo much better talking to someone. She was also a certified lactation consultant and she helped me understand that breastfeeding failure wasn’t my fault. I had to mourn that relationship with my son, accept it for what it is and not feel like I failed him for giving him formula.

    He is now a year and I can say only now I am feeling like my ‘old’ self again. I made some positive changes in my life: I exercise frequently, I joined a fb support group for parents with anxiety and depression and I do take a tablet for anxiety at nights if I feel I have to. I am not ashamed of it. And we shouldn’t be!

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story Suzaan, I can relate to many elements of it. It makes me sad that this is what so many of us Moms are silently going through for so long before we get the help we need, because we feel so alone and aren’t aware that it’s almost actually a part of becoming a Mom these days. The more we talk about it, the more awareness we can create so Moms can get the help they need, when they need it.

  • esti says:

    P.N.D is real,SO real.I only realised how badly I had it,when I started with therapy.It was like a fog had settled over my mind.I found it so incredibly difficult to see and experience the joy in the moment.I had a terrible delivery,and very colicky baby,which just deepened the black hole I found myself in.Add the societal pressure of being the perfect parent,having a perfect home and fitting into my pre-preggie jeans at 6weeks(because that’s normal in Hollywood,apparently),it all became too much.My baby girl is now 8months,and has outgrown her colic.After my therapy finished,I can truly say I made it through.I am able to live the moment.x

    • Thanks for your comment Esti. I can totally relate to that. It was also with therapy that I realised how bad it had actually become. Everyone was telling me that the first 6 weeks were the hardest, but I was at the 6 month mark and things felt like they were the worst they’d ever been. It’s great to be on the other side of it now and be able to know that we overcame it. xxx

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