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Live webchat with postnatal depression counsellor, Liz Wise, Tuesday 17th April, 1pm

(155 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 14-Apr-12 12:59:44

Liz Wise is joining us on Tuesday 17 April between 1 and 2pm. She was introduced to us as a possible webchat guest by a mumsnetter who described how she'd 'changed her life'. Liz is a specialist postnatal depression counsellor who has been supporting mothers with PND for the past fifteen years, Having had severe PND after both her children, she has a great deal of personal and professional experience. Liz is also the PND co-ordinator for the National Childbirth Trust and sits on the committee for The Association for Postnatal Illness. She has also produced the popular DVD, Understanding Postnatal Depression.

Postnatal depression affects approximately 20% of mothers in the UK and can be a very isolating and frightening condition. Around 10% of fathers experience paternal depression. Symptoms include, low mood, anxiety, exhaustion, inability to look forward to or enjoy anything and sometimes irrational thoughts. It is temporary condition which can be helped by the right support and/or treatment. Join the discussion on Tuesday at 1pm or send questions in advance to Liz here. For more information about postnatal depression see

Stewince79 Thu 07-May-15 23:54:59

Help please .. My partner has recently had a baby she's 10 weeks old and from nowhere she has left me saying things are too full on
I've seen her be up and down and moods flow from good to bad but recently she's been ending her friendships with good friends and people who have been there for her and she's become very isolated and says she feel she needs to get her life back on track
I feel lost and confused to why she's being like this when all I've done is be by her side

Anyone help or advise me on what to do .. Stew

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 30-Sep-13 12:08:40


As a concerned parent/grandparent how can I best help my Daughter through what appears to be PND?

Hi there
As this discussion thread hasn't been active for quite some time, you will probably get a better response if you post your question on the antenatal/postnatal depression board where lots of people with experience of PND are posting every day. You may also want to look at our Post-natal depression content page which has information provided by Liz Wise.

Andrewmackembailey Tue 17-Sep-13 14:54:33

As a concerned parent/grandparent how can I best help my Daughter through what appears to be PND?

swallowedAfly Wed 18-Apr-12 14:10:45

i was beyond happy i think - reckon i'd have met the criteria for clinical hypomania. seem to recall reading about a push for pnd to be renamed to reflect the fact that actually it seems to have more in common with bipolar than unipolar depression. don't know what became of that.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Wed 18-Apr-12 12:27:33

I was tremendously happy after the birth especially of my first, dd.
But I think that's all good ! Nice to be happy sometimes - I kept a diary of everything we did together and was in ecstasy looking at the beautiful spring blossom that April !

I hope everyone reading can have happy moments with their babies too - it is an amazing thing you've all done to create a new little person smile

swallowedAfly Wed 18-Apr-12 10:43:55

post menstrual dysphoria juggling. seriously recommend the agnus castus - you don't need to see a homeopath (despite the advice on here) just to make sure you get the right standardised extract and daily dose - the website healthspan sell a good, standardised one a day pill at a reasonable price. disclaimer: other websites may do this too obviously wink

i also had spikes of weird stuff around ovulation too. my doc made me right it all down and track for a few months (this after periods returned after having ds and things going very whacky) and it was absolutely clear that it was around ovulation and in the pre menstrual period every time. she put me on the pill and it helped but as i think i mentioned we then found i shouldn't be taking the combined pill (and the mini pill made things worse for me) due to aura migraines and stroke risk. i do recommend the agnus castus - take it every day for a few months and see what effect it has had for you.

i was crazy high after birth - i remember standing in the middle of the room having gotten up to make a cup of tea for visitors and then babbling away about something, then forgetting what i'd stood up for, then giggling like a loon about it. things like that. i was non stop iykwim.

all4u Wed 18-Apr-12 10:37:49

Only just logged on today and found this - MN being wonderful again! As they said in Life of Brian - yes we are all different - but by heck we have a lot in common too!
I had PND after my two all wrapped up in having really felt fantastic and happy during the pregnancy (yeah I know it is the wrong way round and sad really...) and having painless deliveries in under two hours but then finding that my body had just given way and I was like a carrier bag inside and out!

After being told by a consultant 'What did I expect I had just had two big babies?' and nearly crashing the car driving away because of the tears - my Mum paid for me to go privately and have an internal repair op. (I exploded when she was critical of a cousin for opting for a CS and burst into tears!) I will advise my daughter that if she has my genes ie stretch marks during pregnancy to be sure and have CS.

But I know I could never embark on another relationship as I am now - that part of my life is over.

So it is about coming to terms with whatever your kit and caboodle is and having kindness and support from others to adust - that's where MN can come in! Before MN we had to be silent or dared not risk speaking up for fear of alienating our precious friends (my best friend cannot have children as she married a man who had a family and whose first wife persuaded him to have a vasectomy so I don't like to discuss this with her and my other BF had two non-progressing labours that ended in CS so is now abfab down below).

Time passes too girls - but I am glad I had them late!

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Wed 18-Apr-12 09:29:40

Both pregnancy and breast-feeding hormones were wonderful for me - I've really never felt better since childhood.

Think I was a bit of a prolactin junkie too ReallyTired grin
- in any case I managed to breast-feed every day for 8.5 years on the strength of only two children grin Oh and I'll do a shock for you all !!

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Wed 18-Apr-12 09:24:57

Hmmm, pmd ? sounds very familiar - I take it that's pre-menstrual depression saf ? - I think I've suffered with that for a long time. Maybe I should go and have another talk with my nice doctor as long-standing grumbling depression isn't great fun to live with ! And maybe if my mood lifted a bit higher I'd feel up to doing more interesting things. Feeling particularly pee'd off ATM as DH is away for a week with work, and it's peeing down outside - though wondering actually if the rain can be quite comforting when you're safely inside with a nice brew - and the company of some lovely MNers smile

ReallyTired Wed 18-Apr-12 09:20:21

I think that breastfeeding can have strange affects on mental health. I am a prolactin junkie and I found I had a drop in mood when I started weaning / gave up breastfeeding.

I was every elated both times after the birth.

CagneyNLacey Wed 18-Apr-12 09:14:49

In retrospect I'd say I was manic in the few months post birth. I was constantly making lists of things to do, the house was spotless, I'd take dd out every day at least once. I kept a diary of what I had done or wanted to do. I couldnt rest and was constantly planning even the smallest of things. When I look back now to that time, only 15 months ago, I wonder if it was motivated by a sort of terror that I'd be a shit mum and everyone would see through me.

swallowedAfly Wed 18-Apr-12 08:25:43

agreed kizzie - i do think for some it is very much hormonally linked - i for one have had hormonally triggered episodes of depression and major agitation following hormonal events and have had awful trouble with pmd at times (particularly in the months after a big hormonal event). like you though i think there's a lot of cases that aren't that and i also think that that plus the conditions and cultural set up probably makes for bigger and more prolonged problems than that plus good conditions and cultural set ups. itms!

i am curious to know if anyone else had a bit of the opposite and felt quite manic in the weeks following birth. i was very happymad for quite a while.

peanutpie Tue 17-Apr-12 22:46:36

Thank you. Reading these responses has been very supportive.

heliumballoon Tue 17-Apr-12 21:08:58

Thank you MNHQ and Liz for an excellent webchat. If it helps even one woman suffering with this wretched condition, then it will have been very well worth it.

kizzie Tue 17-Apr-12 19:53:20

Re. the causes. Im sure there are a great number of mothers with pnd whose illness is either caused or increased by 'the conditions of motherhood in our society'. I cant remember which culture it is - but there is one where early parental support is prioritised and the cases of Pnd are very low.

In my own case however I am sure as I can be that it was a hormonal response to an IVF / twin pregnancy.

For the first six weeks after birth I felt mentally great. Then I needed to stop breastfeeding. A couple of weeks later my period returned and I became very ill.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 17-Apr-12 17:24:15

That sounds like a great area to look into saf - I think you have some very strong points to make which I'm sure will be validated further when you speak to more women about their experiences. smile

StrawberrytallCAKE Tue 17-Apr-12 16:55:23

Thank you for answering my question Liz.

I have really enjoyed reading all of this thread especially your posts saf I am due in December and had pnd with my first so I'm really trying to prepare myself for this one.

swallowedAfly Tue 17-Apr-12 16:48:50

i start an msc in autumn and will probably do my dissertation around this area - i'd like to do some antenatal counselling and groups voluntarily and follow up with the people involved after they have their babies as part of the qualitative research. hopefully will be interesting.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 17-Apr-12 16:42:54

Interesting that you applied for PhD funding to explore some of these issues saf - I hope you might have the opportunity to pursue that at some point.

swallowedAfly Tue 17-Apr-12 16:32:22

it can present months after the birth because it's just clinical depression (not 'just' as in unimportant but just as in the same as, not unique or differentiated from for most people).

factors around becoming a mother and having a young baby predispose you towards falling ill with mental health problems. pnd sounds a lot more sanitised than admitting that the conditions of motherhood in our society make women prone to develop mental health problems.

it's in looking at those factors that we will be able to move towards preventative measures and tangible ways of helping women avoid becoming ill under the strain of them imo.

designerbaby Tue 17-Apr-12 14:59:27

Thanks for answering my question Liz...

I do think from what I've read here that some profile-raising stuff about PND and it's various manifestations, plus some myth-dispelling stuff might be long overdue – both for the medical professionals (I'm thinking of GPs an HVs as they're usually the first port of call) and the general public...

I don't think I was aware of much about PND at all - I certainly didn't know it could present months after the birth...

Great webchat though. Mumsnet and mumsnetters at their collective best.


JugglingWithTangentialOranges Tue 17-Apr-12 14:22:02

Seems Liz gave much valuable support to many posters but wasn't particularly keen to be drawn into any political or feminist aspects of the debate. That's a slight shame I feel - you asked a couple of excellent questions I thought saf
Perhaps Liz just didn't have time to answer everything, guess that's possible ?

I feel it would often be easier to recover from PND if there was more help and support available in looking after the baby !

swallowedAfly Tue 17-Apr-12 14:14:37

yeah thanks liz.

LizWise Tue 17-Apr-12 14:13:52

Thank you for your questions and for sharing your experiences. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email me at

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Apr-12 14:13:45

That brings us to the end of the hour. Thanks SO much to Liz for joining us today for this invaluable discussion and for answering so many questions. Thanks to everyone for joining in the discussion.

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