The story involved a young mother who had left her 3 week old baby with a neighbour (Huggies Forum member KeonesMummy). They had spoken only a few times, so KeonesMummy found her request a bit odd, but she agreed as the young mum clearly had no one else to turn to. When several hours later the lady had not returned for her child, KeonesMummy called the police. They eventually found her and it turned out that she was suffering from severe PND. Throughout it all KeonesMummy showed the most amazing sensitivity and compassion towards this new mum.
It got me to thinking about PND and wondering how desperate and isolated must a new mother be feeling to leave her child with a total stranger? Is there really is enough support and awareness for both PND? What are the signs? Can you do more to help if you think someone you know might be suffering from it?
Certainly from talking to my friends who have suffered from PND isolation does seem to be part of PND. Waking up exhausted and spending most of your day without adult company is compound by the hormonal changes that can trigger feelings of desperation and depression. To make things worse, on the rare occasions where you do get to catch up with your friends, everyone seems to be coping better than you are – and you feel even worse than before.
Often guilt and disappointment are part of depression. Maybe you feel bad because you don’t think you love your baby as much as you feel you should. Or you thought being a mum would be wonderful – and it just isn’t. Everyone has different reasons that make them feel that they are not coping in the role of new mum. That’s why I guess the most important thing to do is to talk to others and to realise that it is actually really common to feel this way.
If you think you may be suffering from PND taking the first step is often the hardest. Your GP or local child health nurse will be a great starting point.
Also many of the mums on the Huggies forum have suffered from PND so if you have the slightest inkling you may be suffering from PND, the forum is a great place to ask for help and advice. There is a Post Natal Support Group discussion within the Huggies Forum – it’s a great place to talk to other mums.
These organisations will also be able to provide you with more information and support.
Have you had PND or do you think you might be suffering from it? How did you cope? I’d love to hear your stories and help other mums to share their experiences.