Sarah* is one of many women who experience postnatal depression after the birth of a baby.
“I could tell that something was not quite right, that my feelings should be different when I held my new-born baby.
I have an amazing supportive husband, wonderful parents and helpful in-laws. I was in a good position financially and I had a great antenatal group of friends. I thought it would happen to other mums with other problems on top of having a new baby. But postnatal depression can happen to anyone
I thought I was prepared for my baby, but my life was turned completely upside down. My baby didn’t sleep. I had so much trouble breastfeeding. I was sleep deprived, emotional, and had overwhelming anxiety. I just wanted to cry all the time. How was I going to cope?”
Fortunately where Sarah lives she could access specialist support for postnatal depression**. Sarah’s Plunket Nurse (Nic) provided additional time and the tools she needed to begin to help herself. Nic also connected Sarah to a support network of other Plunket mums – which was also key to her recovery.
“I know it was hard for her in the beginning, and everything seemed ‘huge’, even small challenges seemed too big.
My time with Sarah was just the start, she is now helping to run the walking group and helping other mums.
Mothers supporting each other is an effective way to help women through postnatal depression.”
Sarah’s story ends well. She now has another new baby and is paying it forward by helping support other Mums.
If you think you may have postnatal depression, please reach out to a friend or to your Plunket Nurse. You can also call PlunketLine on 0800 933 922, any time of day or night.
Plunket’s community services are free to families and entirely funded by donations. Please help other mums like Sarah to receive the support they need.
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.
**Sarah received support through Plunket’s Postnatal Adjustment Programme.