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Mumsnet poll on postnatal depression in The Observer

(10 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 02-Nov-08 09:41:20

For those of you who don't get the observer, here's Amelia Hill's article on PND using the survey she did on Mumsnet.

filthymindedtreatortrixen Sun 02-Nov-08 11:24:39

well anecdotedly (sp?) I know 2 mothers who suffered from full-on puerpal psychosis (requiring hospitilisation) and neither had any family history of depression or anything similar.

I think it would be interesting to see what support sufferers from PND do receive accross the country.
I also believe partners/families of mothers need some support/information/help to know how best to support the mothers.

HV and GPs do seem (in my area at least) better at picking up on mothers at risk but apart from ADs, and counselling (which is often a non-starter due to childcare issues and huge, lengthy waiting lists) there is naff all statutory help out there. Mothers with undiagnosed or late-diagnosed PND may, unfortunately, most likely go on to develop full-blown depression and this can blight their lives - and their families - for years.

mummyhill Sun 02-Nov-08 11:47:42

I had pnd after both of my children and am now suffering clinical depression. MY youngest child is now 3 and I have been on AD's for most of those 3 yrs. Counselling is a joke as you mentioned due to childcare and waiting lists. There has to be a better way of diagnosing and treating PND, the sooner you get diagnosed and treated the better.

FlexThyDivineMind Sun 02-Nov-08 11:53:28

see, it is apparent from the number of posts on here from new mums struggling to cope that many have no idea about where to even ask for help or support.
Many people also are afraid of ADs or stigma ascoaited with MH issues and so will not seek any help for those reasons.

I urge any new mums out there who know they are feeling terrible to speak to HV or GP as soon as possible.

And there are many things people can do for themseleves - eating little and often, resting, talking to someone (anyone), excercise! Are all proven methods of lifting one's mood.

deanychip Sun 02-Nov-08 13:34:57

mine was too much to bear and i went to the Drs when my son was 3.
I had been severely depressed from his birth but didnt know it.
I though i was chronically exhausted as he did not sleep for any more than 2 hours at a time till he was 4.
Looking back it affected every aspect of my life.

You ALWAYS put your mood or the way that you are feeling down to something else, it fits doesnt it when you have a baby, nothing is ever the same, your body, your mind, your emotions, your feelings, your attitiudes, your opinions, your whole life is forever changed.
For me, 3 years are 3 years i will not get back and i have to question had i gone to get help sooner, would i have been a different parent or woman?

oneplusone Sun 02-Nov-08 17:51:16

I think one of the saddest things is that often PND affects how well or even if you bond with your newborn baby. In my case i realised in hindsight that i had pretty bad PND when i had DD but like deanychip said, i put it down to so many other things.

My PND meant i didn't bond with my DD and it has affected our relationship to this day and she is now 5 years old.

I think a whole lot more research needs to be done into why some women get PND and others don't. The health service needs to identify 'at risk' mothers early on, long before the baby is born, and try and tackle it before the birth.

I also had ante-natal depression, again i realise now in hindsight and i am sure if this had been picked up on my PND could have been prevented/picked up very early on and i am sure my relationship with my DD would have been so different.

RomanCandleQueen Sun 02-Nov-08 18:10:18

Thankfully I have not suffered PND wuth either of my babies, but it was my biggest fear during pregnancy.
My Mum was hospitalised for 3 months, when I was born, with puerperal psychosis. It was always a skeleton in the cupboard amngst the family and I was only told when I was 16. In fact, as a child I thought I was adopted because there were no photos of me as a newborn.
If they've found a genetic link, then that's great. I have mentioned my mother's illness to every MW & HV but they have always said "Oh no, it's unlikely you'll get it." Maybe now the health professionals will be a bit more aware and be able to help mothers with PND more quickly.

spookycharlotte121 Mon 03-Nov-08 12:45:55

I have PND but dont really know where to go for help. I think i suffered with anti-natal depression too. I have a much better bond with ds who was born before the depression but whilst I was pg with dd I was very low etc and found it difficult to bond with her during the pregnancy and straight away when she was born. I didnt hold her for about 5 hours after she was born. I couldnt bear to look at her. A few days after she was born I was trying to bf her and I didnt want her anywhere near me. My mum had to take her away from me because I was scared I was going to hurt her. I actually wanted to throw her against the wall and I feel horrible for feeling like that. A lot of my problems stopped when i stopped bfing but they have gradually crept back. I dont get any horrible thoughts about the kids but Im most definaltly not a very happy person at the moment.

I think I would be classed as high risk. There is a high level of depression in my family, Im a young single mum on my own with 2 kids under 18 months and Im trying to get through a degree. I thought there would be a lot more support in these circumstances but I dont even know where to turn or who to talk to regarding this. I feel like I have been forgotton about by the HV etc and although the gp (nice guy!) always asks me how Im feeling when I take the dc's in for one reason or another, I always make out like Im coping and that everything is great. I think that there are probs a lot of people out there like me suffering in silence without any professional help just purely because theyre too scared to admit they have a problem, dont know where to get help from or are worried that something bad will come of getitng help.

oneplusone Mon 03-Nov-08 13:14:21

hi spookycharlotte, I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. I'm no expert but as your GP sounds nice, why don't you tell him how you're really feeling next time you go in? Don't pretend you are coping if you feel you're not. There is NOTHING to be ashamed about if you're finding it hard going. Please speak out and get yourself some help, it will be so much better for you and your relationship with your DC's in the long run. Good Luck. x

SixSpotBonfire Mon 03-Nov-08 13:58:04

I thought I had never had PND. Have never been dx'd with it anyway.

However I do remember having a lot of suicidal thoughts with DS2 - I used to picture putting him in the baby sling and then walking with him into deep water so that we both drowned. This was a really vivid recurring image and I couldn't get it out of my head for a while.

So I wonder whether in fact I did have a touch of PND?

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