PRimage read a news report this morning that pregnant women and new mums with diabetes are nearly twice as likely as other women to become depressed, putting both mother and baby at risk. This report was based on a new study from U.S. researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
Postpartum depression is a very serious illness that affects between 10 and 12 percent of mothers every year. It may have long-term negative impacts on the women it affects, but also on their children and families. If not addressed, women with postpartum depression can become so despondent they attempt suicide, and some harm or neglect their newborns. Judy Viitanen knows very well how awful post-natal depression can be: she suffered for almost a year, following the birth of her daughter. In Judy’s experience, it is very important to have the help of a sympathetic GP and health visitor, as well as loving care from family and friends.
It can be life-changing when a mother suffers from postpartum depression. But a woman should realize it is not her fault and she is not alone. Brooke Shields suffered from the same illness and she was even able to write a good book about it. When a mother suffers from postpartum depression, she should focus on the fact that things will get better. Until then there are many support systems like friends and family, medical professionals, peer groups, counselors and hotlines. She just has to hang in there. The Association for Post Natal Illness provides invaluable support – including a telephone helpline, information leaflets for sufferers and healthcare professionals as well as a network of volunteers (telephone and postal), who have themselves experienced postnatal illness. Their contact details are: 145 Dawes Road, Fulham, London, UK, SW6 7EB. Tel: 0207 386 0868.