Perinatal Depression & Anxiety (PND)

At myLife Psychologists we’re committed to supporting mums, dads and families affected by depression and anxiety during pregnancy and in the first year of parenthood, and beyond.

Up to 1 in 10 women and 1 in 20 men experience depression during pregnancy (antenatal depression), and anxiety is just as common, with many experiencing both depression and anxiety. Postnatal depression (also known as PND) is the name given to the type of depression that develops mostly between 1 month and a year following childbirth. In Australia, statistics show that it affects 1 in 7 women, however it can also affect partners and the wider family.

Many parents struggle with knowing what’s normal and what isn’t, in terms of their own mood symptoms and coping, as well as their baby’s wellbeing. Baby’s don’t come with a guide book, and for most parents it’s a massive adjustment, especially when they’re exhausted, recovering from the birth, or perhaps parenting older children too.

More than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression, and postnatal anxiety is just as common. Thankfully there are many supports and services available, and it’s important to know the signs and symptoms and to seek help early.

Symptoms of Postnatal Anxiety and Depression

The combination and severity of symptoms will be different for every parent, and can include:

  • Very low moods and moodiness more generally
  • Feelings of exhaustion, emptiness and sadness
  • A sense of hopelessness about the future
  • Feeling inadequate and a failure as a parent
  • Feeling anxious and experiencing panic and stress
  • Feelings of guilt, shame and worthlessness
  • Worrying excessively about your baby
  • Insomnia and trouble sleeping
  • Feeling scared to be alone or to go out
  • Changes to or loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and feeling unmotivated
  • Worries about not being able to adequately look after your baby
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby
  • Feelings of indifference or no sense of enjoyment in your baby

If these feelings have arisen and do not feel like they’re going away, professional help should be sought.

Treatment for Perinatal Depression & anxiety

Anxiety and depression experienced during pregnancy and after birth is temporary and treatable, and it’s important to get help as early as possible. Here at myLife Psychologists we understand how difficult the transition to parenthood can be, and we love working with mums, dads and families during this important stage of life. To find out more or to make an appointment, contact us.

To see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be a reason to seek help, fill out a short mental health checklist.