Part 2: The risks and treatment of post-natal depression

HelpMe02Welcome to the second part of our two-part series on post-natal depression. In this post, we’ll look at the complications associated with PND, who’s most at risk, and the treatments that are available.

The impact on family

If left untreated, PND can affect the whole family. For moms and dads, it increases both of their chances of getting depression in the future. PND also impacts on the important mother-child bonding that happens early in the child’s life, increasing the child’s chances of emotional, behavioural and even language-development problems in the future.

Who’s most at risk?

According to postpartumprogress.com, parents with a higher risk of getting PND are those:

  • With a history of mental illness, like depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder
  • With a family history of mental illness
  • Who’ve had a traumatic or complicated pregnancy or birth
  • With a history of abuse
  • Who had a traumatic childhood
  • Who suffer from stress
  • Who lack social support

If you’re pregnant and you believe you are at risk of getting PND, keep your doctor and family informed so they can monitor you and offer you the support you need, if needed.

The treatment options

According to babycentre.co.uk, there are several treatment paths for PND, including talking therapies (support groups, counselling, or psychotherapy) and antidepressants. People respond differently to these though, so keep trying, even if the first attempt at formal treatment isn’t effective.

To get the most out of these treatments, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and weight, get adequate exercise, find support (either from family, friends, or a moms’ group in your area), and, as Baby Centre puts it: be kind to yourself.

Think you’ve got PND? Speak to a professional about it; like the Post-Natal Depression Support Association or even just your GP. What you’re going through shouldn’t be dismissed or ignored. It’s serious and dangerous, and there’s no healthy reason for you to endure it.

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