Help at hand for ‘baby blues’

Postnatal depression affects up to one in 100 women during pregnancy and the number increases to one in seven following birth, according to Beyond Blue.

South Coastal Women’s Health Service counselling services co-ordinator Melanie Hocking said symptoms of depression and anxiety during pregnancy and early parenthood was often more difficult to recognise and deal with than at other times in life.

‘If you have ever experienced depression or anxiety there is a chance of re-occurrence during pregnancy or following birth,’ she said.

‘Many women find that with support and preparation, they are able to better cope with, or avoid, a subsequent experience of peri-natal depression or anxiety.’ The service provides specialist counselling to women experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety at any time during the peri-natal period from pregnancy to three years following birth.

The service offers a peri-natal support group that meets each Tuesday. For more information, call 9550 0900.

If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression or anxiety, they can call Lifeline on 13 11 44 or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

Recognise the signs
Some of the possible symptoms of
post-natal depression:
– loss of enjoyment in usual pursuits
– loss of self-esteem and confidence
– loss of appetite and weight
– broken sleep (irrespective of baby)
– sense of hopelessness and being a
failure
– a wish not to be alive
– panic attacks
– loss of libido
(Source: Black Dog Institute)