Pregnancy, birth and early parenthood are times of great change. Having a baby can be the biggest life change that you will ever have. It may be difficult to adjust to the day-to-day stress of caring for a new baby.

Depression and anxiety can occur at any time in your life, and can often come to the surface with a major event like pregnancy or having a baby. The risk is higher if you have been depressed in the past.

  • Some women experience depression during pregnancy - antenatal depression. Around 12 per cent of pregnant women in Australia experience antenatal depression.
  • Postnatal depression (PND) is depression that a woman experiences in the months after the birth of her baby. Postnatal depression affects almost 1 in 6 women in Australia (15%).

Signs and Symptoms

After the Birth of a Child.

Two out of every 3 women who have a baby will have the 'baby blues' a wide range of feelings including tearfulness and anxiety. These normal feelings usually happen on about the third or fourth day after childbirth and last for a day or two.

For some women the blues may never go and the situation develops into postnatal depression (PND).

Symptoms of postnatal depression may develop a few weeks or months after childbirth, perhaps long after the blues have gone away.

PND has the same signs and symptoms as depression experienced by men and by women which is covered under Depression Hypnotherapy.

Common Symptoms of PND Include:

  • crying a lot, or crying about small upsets
  • feeling very uncertain of your skills as a mother
  • sleeping poorly even when your baby is asleep
  • being very frightened of being alone
  • feeling you are a bad mother
  • irritability with other people around you such as your partner, your toddler or other family members
  • perhaps hating yourself and your baby
  • not feeling any sex-drive (libido)
  • just feeling you can't cope with anything, for example, housework
  • feeling very anxious and uncertain about a whole range of things such as going out shopping or seeing friends.
  • an increase in wanting things in order or the complete opposite - not caring at all about how things look
  • obsessional thoughts which are sometimes about harming yourself.

If you have PND you are likely to feel depressed much of the time, even when your baby is on their best behaviour.

PND Facts

  • PND occurs in all cultures and all socio-economic classes and can happen to child-bearing women of all ages.
  • It is not a modern condition. Each generation calls it something different. What we call postnatal depression today might have been called a 'nervous breakdown' 50 years ago.
  • It appears with mild, moderate or severe symptoms. It can begin during pregnancy (antenatal depression), suddenly after birth, or gradually in the weeks or months following delivery. Symptoms can emerge at any time during the first year after birth. Most cases have their onset within the first four months.
  • It can happen after miscarriage, stillbirth, normal delivery or caesarean delivery. Pregnancy is the common factor.
  • It happens mostly after the first baby but can occur after any other pregnancy.
  • It can recur with a subsequent pregnancy. If a woman becomes pregnant again before recovering from PND, the condition will continue through the pregnancy and can worsen. If a woman has been taking medication, it's wise to wait at least a year after discontinuing medication before falling pregnant again.

Hypnotherapy can help break this cycle by teaching you're subconscious mind how to put the past, present and future into perspective. And how to move forward with your life, before it ruins your relationships or professional life.