Post Natal Depression Dubai

Post Natal Depression Dubai

By Sabina Christensen - for LifeWorks Dubai

post natal depression dubai
Post Natal Depression Dubai

Being pregnant or having a baby can be one of the most joyous occasions in a person's lifetime but not always! We are expected to be over the moon, to be totally in love with our new-born, know all the answers and also have our body back to super model size within days!!!!

The reality is that having a baby is so life changing, a huge adjustment, and can be such a chaotic time in our life, that for many it can be overwhelming, over powering and a time riddled with guilt, confusion, sadness, bouts of crying and mixed feelings about the baby . Of course, for us women that's hard as we may be used to being in control, to holding down successful jobs, to be wonderful problem solvers and to be generally happy. So why is this?

Unfortunately no one explanation has been identified although there could be many contributing factors like the change in hormonal level, the shock of being a mother, lack of support, family and or societal expectations, a difficult pregnancy and /or labour, childhood experiences and or other life stressors that might be going on.

What we do know is that new mothers usually get the 'baby blues' two to four days after the birth, and this is so common that it's regarded as normal. You may feel very emotional and liable to burst into tears, for no apparent reason, or for reasons that may seem quite trivial to other people. You may find it difficult to sleep (even when the baby lets you) and you may not feel like eating. You may also feel anxious, sad, guilty, and afraid that you are not up to being a mother.

Although having the baby blues is distressing, it's important to know that it doesn't last long - usually only a few days. If the however the symptoms goes on for longer or gets worse, it may be a turning into what is now known as postnatal depression.

Post natal depression dubai

Postnatal Depression (PND)

At least one new mother in ten goes through PND, often when the baby is between four and six months old, although it can emerge at any time in the first or second year. It can come on gradually or all of a sudden, and can range from being relatively mild to very hard-hitting.

You may go through one or more of the following experiences and the list below are common signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Feeling very low, or despondent, thinking that nothing is any good, that life is a long, grey tunnel, and that there is no hope
  • Feeling tired, lethargic, or even quite numb. Not wanting to do anything or take an interest in the outside world
  • A sense of inadequacy; feeling unable to cope about not coping, or about not loving the baby enough
  • Feeling guilty Being unusually irritable, which makes the guilt worse
  • Wanting to cry
  • Losing your appetite, which may go with feeling hungry all the time, but being unable to eat
  • Difficulty sleeping: either not getting to sleep, waking early, or having vivid nightmares
  • Being hostile or indifferent to your husband or partner
  • Being hostile or indifferent to your baby
  • Losing interest in sex
  • Having panic attacks, which strike at any time, causing rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms and feelings of sickness or faintness
  • An overpowering anxiety, often about things that wouldn't normally bother you, such as being alone in the house
  • Difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • Physical symptoms, such as stomach pains, headaches and blurred vision
  • Obsessive fears about the baby's health or wellbeing, or about yourself and other members of the family
  • Thoughts about death.
  • What about fathers?

    Although postnatal depression is mainly a problem for mothers, in recent years it has increasingly been recognised that new fathers also become depressed. It has been suggested that as many as 1 in 25 new fathers are affected.

    The causes include the pressures of fatherhood, increased responsibility, the expense of having children and the change in life-style that it brings, the changed relationship with their partners, as well as lack of sleep and increased workload at home.

    What do I do ?

    post natal depression dubai

    I remember a very wise client of mine who was trying to change old negative patterns of behaviour telling me that 'Change can really be quite violent'. Her words struck me as so true and for many of us having a baby, the shock, the sheer enormity of what has just happened can be truly overwhelming, so what can we do?

  • Acknowledge it!     Talk about it!     Don't hide it!
  • Part of feeling depressed means we just want to disconnect, withdraw from the world and talk to no body! Ironically this is the worst thing you can do so wherever possible the first step is to break out of the cycle -
    Tell someone ......your partner, a friend, a family member, another mother,your doctor. There is no shame attached to feeling this way but you may be surprised that when you do start opening up at how many people have experienced something similar or know somebody who has.

  • Ask for help!
  • This is one of the hardest things to do as we all feel 'we should be coping' and 'everyone else seems to be so why can't I? '. But reaching out can be the greatest gift you can give yourself to help you with the symptoms, alleviate the negative feelings of anger, guilt and shame and help you enjoy your baby.

    Go to your Doctor and /or call for an appointment with a counsellor or psychologist who will be able to help you understand what is going on for you, normalise it and give you strategies and techniques to help you through it.

    Baby blues, post - natal depression and /or any feelings of being out of control or being overwhelmed can be exceptionally stressful at a time where we can be at our most vulnerable. I hope, if you are reading this that it is a step to helping you understand a little more about what you might be going through.

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