New mothers are hiding postnatal depression because they’re afraid of being labelled a ‘bad mother’.
A recent study found women also say they keep quiet about their struggles to cope because they feel nurses focus more on the baby’s health than their own emotional well-being.
Staff behaving unsympathetic or unhelpful during past pregnancies also deters them from seeking help.
One of the women surveyed who felt the ‘stigma’ was a barrier to getting support said: ‘Coping was entwined with perceptions of good mothering.
‘I felt like like I was a bad mother and I couldn’t cope with it all.’
Another said: ‘There’s a huge stigma about feeling depressed, particularly postnatal.’
Mothers who have spoken up about their depression reported feeling fobbed off and sent away with a prescription for antidepressants and no further support.
Others say they were put off by having to explain their feelings to a different member of staff each time, reported the British Journal of General Practice.
Postnatal depression is a common problem, affecting more than one in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.
Signs can include…
persistent, generalised worry,
development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours,
abrupt mood swings,
feeling constantly tired,
withdrawing from friends,
feeling constantly sad or crying for no reason
having thoughts of death or suicide.
If you are suffering with PND please speak to your local doctor or contact PANDA National Helpline (Mon to Fri, 9am – 7.30pm AEST) Call 1300 726 306
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