Hi. I am a mum to two amazing little girls, aged 2 and 5 months. I'm struggling at the moment and wonder if maybe I might have postnatal depression. My birth went fine and all was fantastic. I'm finding things very hard as my 5 month old is a bad sleeper. We started weaning at 4 months under the advice of my PHN. That's going fine but the baby goes down at night fine, but wakes all through the night for hours sometimes not going back to sleep at all. We give a feed if shes hungry but a lot of the time she doesn't want a feed. We are both exhausted. With covid obviously my 2 year old is home with us so it's a full busy house and theres just no break. We dont have any outside support mainly due to covid restrictions. My husband is due to return to work shortly and I'm afraid I wont cope with the 2 smallies on my own. I also have 2 step children who are here every 2nd wk due to schools being closed so we are home schooling as well. That coupled with a serious lack of sleep is just not helping. My husband is very supportive and hands on but I feel like I'm sinking. I'm teary a lot, I've no interest at all in a physical relationship with my husband and its causing problems. Anybody have similar feelings? I'm really not sure what to do.
Hello Anonymous - first of all, I would like to say thank you and well done for reaching out. It is the first step and often the hardest, but you've done it! I'm afraid we cannot diagnose postnatal depression, however depression that occurs within a year of giving birth/having a child is classed as postnatal depression. We have a tendency to think it is related to hormone changes exclusively, but it is also caused by the huge lifestyle change! Change in your relationship, in your life, huge change to sleep (this is so often the trigger), and many more. This is all without considering that you are experiencing a global pandemic on top of this. The symptoms and feelings you describe sound a lot like PND - our advice would be to speak to your partner about this, as the more aware those around you are the more support they can provide, and to make an appointment with your GP to discuss it. Your GP can refer you to other services that may help as well as provide support. You can also reach out to us at any time, via our social media (Postnatal Depression Ireland across all platforms) or by calling us on 0834850689. Sending lots of strength, hope and love your way. - Hannah, PND Ireland.
Thank you Hannah for your reply. I have since spoken to my partner and I will be making an appointment with my GP. Thanks again.
Hi Anne - I am so happy to hear about these steps you have taken. They are difficult ones to make, but they are the start of a journey (not always a linear one - it will ebb and flow) to recovery. If you ever need any extra support, or just someone to chat to who understands, please do reach out to us. We are available on social media (Postnatal Depression Ireland on Facebook, PNDIreland on Instagram), by phone on 0834850689, and we host Zoom support meetings every two weeks for mothers to get together and support each other. Wishing you all the best - Hannah, PND Ireland.