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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…
Panic attacks,
persistent, generalised worry,
development of obsessive or compulsive behaviours,
abrupt mood swings,
feeling constantly tired,
withdrawing from friends,
difficulty focusing,
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

Read more – 

This is what PND looks like…

Post-natal depression responsible for death of pregnant mum

The moment a mum feared she would hurt her son in the grips of PND

Did you feel like you needed to hide how you were really feeling?

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  • I hope that there has been enough progress to allow people to talk about how they are feeling without feeling guilt or shame.

    Reply

  • Sadly there is still stigma but also a lot of support and awareness. No mother should feel bad; having a baby is a huge hormonal roller coaster at times and also a big change to a family.

    Reply

  • The first year of being a mum I felt better than I ever have in my life. I felt a bit shamed because I coped so well with an infant. He’s about to turn 4 and it sucks now. But kinder next year and I’ll get a bit of a break. So there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    Reply

  • One of the symptoms of depression is inactivity and inability to dress, to brush you hair, to come out of bed, etc. Negative feelings about yourself and your situation. The feeling to hide fits in that picture.

    Reply

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