Why I think we all suffer from Postnatal Depression: Mothers and Fathers! Action for Prevention

We all have mental health the key is learning how best to manage your mental well being…

I listen to the radio all the time, a few weeks back there was a discussion on Radio 2 about postnatal depression in fathers. It reported on a recent study finding that only 1 in 25 men suffer. I believe we all (fathers and mothers) will suffer postnatal depression, including me, to some degree and this could be linked to a few main contributing factors:

Change: Becoming a parent is by far the biggest change you will ever face. Responsibility change, relationships change, you change and your life changes.

Sleep: I become slightly obsessed about sleep with my babies, stuck to a routine and maintained a good sleeping pattern for us all and I was still constantly shattered. The way we sleep when you’re a parent changes and you’re always sleeping with one ear and eye open.

The Unknown: Even with a routine and day-to-day structure every day is unknown. We have to learn how to be flexible, how to deal with change and to embrace the unknown confidently and positively.

Expectations vs Reality: Having a baby is the easy part, parenting is a whole new level of exception and responsibility. Our perfect vision of parenting is put to the test when the reality is apparent and the day-to-day challenges occur.

Relationships: All relationships are put to the test of parenting and even the strongest of partnerships will face challenges in the years ahead. We have to learn to live to our own believes and values and be flexible in appreciating others and cooperating together to make things work best for us all: father, mother, child and wider family.

Decision Making: The ability to approach decision-making confidently is key and can be a new challenge in itself. We have to learn to make quick decision all the time, every second of the day, every day and we are making decision that ultimately affects everyone in the family unit.

Change in Confidence: This isn’t to say your all of a sudden become shy or no longer be a confident person (although this can happen) more you could see a change in how you confidently respond to situations and may start to question more things than you did before parenting. Some people say they find it hard to see the bigger picture and a mix of different feeling and emotions can affect confidence.

I can honestly say I experienced anxiety and feelings of panic and lacked confidence in decision-making in the first year of both my boys. This was all manageable and I was able to recognise what was going on and quickly find ways to work through the sudden changes in the way I was thinking, feeling and behaving.

Having a baby is the easy part, parenting is a whole new level of exception and responsibility. I found it comes with deep joy and an overwhelming sense of fear. I never saw this coming and thought it would pass me by being a life coach, NLP master practitioner, a practitioner of hypnotherapy and an achievement specialist, I was sure to be able to mentally manage this change without a second thought. Not true, whilst we all explore and experience new solutions differently we are fundamentally going through the same. It can’t be just hormones and it most certainly doesn’t just affect the mother. If you’re looking for key signs, in addition to the list above, which I consider big contributors, read this.

At some point in our life’s we all face change and the mind will need time, strategies, skills, coping mechanisms and resources to help it readjust. Obviously there are differently levels of depression, and medical advice should always be the first point of contact BUT we do not all need medication – sometimes we want trustworthy advice, or a voice to gain clarity, understanding and direction in a time of need. What we should be offering is awareness, prevention and knowledge before facing major event of change like becoming a parent. Knowledge is power and I’m passionate about empowering everyone.

We have produced a book, DVD and CD: I am Born Lucky, this guide to positive parenting before, during and after birth offers valuable life skills and resources that prove to assist in family life, relationships and mental wellbeing. Next month’s giveaway will support this – keep an eye out for news about it.

If you are suffering or know anybody that might be please take time to support them, link them here and simply talk it through and show them your love.

What are your views on this?

Love. Respect. Protect.

SuziB xx