The first and most important thing you can do to help yourself is to visit your GP. If you feel uncomfortable about confiding in your doctor, remember that he or she sees many mothers suffering the way you are and they are trained to help you. The best way to help your GP to understand you is to explain your feelings as fully as you can. If you do not feel reassured after the visit then either make another appointment for the further advice or, as a last resort, think about changing doctors. The GP is a very important person in your recovery as he or she can offer many effective treatments.
Note: If you are offered medication from your GP you should remember that it can take several weeks for the medication to take effect. It is also very important to feel happy with your medication. If you are in any doubt then consult your GP again, you must consult her/him if you decide to stop taking them or if you wish to cut down.
Rest: although this is easier said than done, rest is very important in the recovery of PND. Try to enlist the help of family and friends to look after the baby while you lie down. Don’t try to catch up on any housework while the baby is sleeping, use the time to nap as well. If you find it difficult to relax, your GP or health visitor may be able to refer you to relaxation classes.
Talk:Don’t try to hide how you are feeling from people who are close to you there is no shame in feeling the way you do. Unless people know, they cannot help you.
Diet & Exercise: Eat regular meals and try to include fresh fruit and vegetables every day, Multi vitamins and mineral supplements may help. This is not a time to be thinking of going on a diet, so avoid that at all costs. Exercise can be a great depression lifter, but as with anything don’t overdo it.
Be Patient Postnatal depression is not a disease which can be seen or which can be cured instantly with pills. It takes a lot of time and patience (and indeed hard work) from all parties to bring the family unit through the crisis points which may occur.
No-one is to blame when the mother feels unable to cope she is not doing it on purpose. Therefore try not to let any extra burdens placed on others cause resentment.
Partners or Carers cannot continually work long days, to do so will only make the situation worse with fatigue. Get help. Families and friends tend to pitch in if they are made aware of the situation.
Partners can occasionally get depressed too - our telephone line is open to partners, family and friends who may need support in order to support the mother.
Helpline 0117 975 6006