The mommy blues
Baby affect most mothers and pass quickly; postnatal depression is more serious and requires intervention. Here’s how to distinguish between the two, and get help if you need it
There is a book on postnatal depression (PND) called
If you do have PND, there are a variety of options for treatment:
Your GP or gynae would be a good place to start. They may prescribe medication or refer you to someone to prescribe medication or counsel you. And don’t worry, there are antidepressants that can be used while breastfeeding.
Support groups are a wonderful way to manage PND, as not only do you have the opportunity to talk through your feelings and fears but in addition you will find support simply knowing you are not alone.
Private counselling is also a great option, allowing you to explore reasons for your feelings and heal by talking it through with a professional.
There are also over the counter natural medications that do make a difference, especially if you have baby blues. If your symptoms are more severe it is preferable to use stronger, reliable medication that will be prescribed by your doctor.
How will I know if my newborn baby is really sick and needs to go to the doctor? NURSING SISTER BURGIE IRELAND ANSWERS: Your baby can tell you with body language when all is not well. A whimper rather than a lusty cry is your first alert. Sleeping for too long comes next. Your baby’s colour will also sound alarm bells: if your baby is cold and pale, red, flushed and hot or looks yellow, something’s up. A very floppy baby or a stiff, rigid baby is also not normal. The fontanelle, or soft spot on the top of your baby’s head, should not bulge or look “dented”. Finally, a baby who does not want to feed or vomits after every feed should be seen by a doctor.