Mother’s Day is about the celebration of mothers and their motherhood. However not all mothers are going to have a ‘happy’ day. There are going to be mothers out there who may not be able to celebrate with their children because they don’t get to see their children or have very personal mental battles from their motherhood experience. Becoming a mother is a difficult process for both the body and mind.
According to the Black Dog Institute (2013), many women experience mood swings after the birth of a baby. Sometimes these mood swings become more severe and last more than a couple of weeks, and begin to interfere with the mother’s ability to get by from day to day. When this happens diagnosis of postnatal depression becomes more likely. A battle at the best of times, postnatal depression can be debilitating and render a new mom unable to undertake normal routines such as caring for their baby. It is important to remember that postnatal depression is different from the baby blues that are common during the first week after childbirth.
In 2010 a study showed that one in five mothers of children aged 24 months or less had been diagnosed with depression (2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey, by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare ). More than half of these mothers reported that their diagnosed depression was ‘perinatal’, that is, the depression was diagnosed from pregnancy until the child’s first birthday.
In general, symptoms of depression can include:
- Loss of enjoyment in interests
- Poor appetite
- Disrupted sleep
- Low moood
- Sense of hopelessness
… Amongst other things (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).
This May 11th let’s not forget those mothers who may be having a hard time, and who may not have the support network to celebrate this honourable day.
BeyondBlue (2014) offers many good resources for mothers and individuals who would like to learn more about depression in general. If you are experiencing any distressing symptoms that are causing you concern, or someone you care about is suffering, remember there are treatments and there are people who can help. As a first step, please consult your Doctor.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2012). Perinatal depression: Data from the 2010 Australian national infant feeding survey. Retrieved 7 May, 2014, from http://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=10737422202
Beyondblue. (2014). Mental Health Conditions. Retrieved 7 May, 2014, from http://www.beyondblue.org.au/resources/for-me/pregnancy-and-early-parenthood/mental-heath-conditions
Black Dog Institute (2013). What is postnatal depression? Retrieved 7 May, 2014, from http://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/public/depression/inpregnancypostnatal/postnataldepressionpnd.cfm
Gina Huisy MAPS (2014).