If you have postnatal depression and/or anxiety, support; self-care; enhancing your nutrition; counselling and medication are a some of the ways for you to get better.
It’s never too late to ask for help. These feelings are not here to stay. You will get better gradually with the correct help.
Talk to people you trust, like your partner, friends, family, doctor, or Plunket staff. You could also visit a Plunket Family Centre in your area.
Plunket can offer support and information in a friendly and relaxed environment.
Our Plunket Nurses use the Ministry of Health PHQ3 questionnaire to ask all women on their first visit if, during the previous month, they have had thoughts of feeling down, depressed or hopelessness, or felt little interest or pleasure in doing things. If this has been identified your Plunket Nurse will support you to access the appropriate services for your needs.
Discuss your options for treatment and possible medications for postnatal depression with your doctor. You can also discuss what community support is available to you like:
Accept offers of support or help that you feel comfortable with, such as regular phone calls, visits, and help with housework, meals, or looking after your baby to give you some time out.
Have things to look forward to during the day, such as time for you and your baby to play, cuddle and talk. Plan for enjoyable relaxing activities or something special each week.
Write down how you’re feeling. Read books and pamphlets on postnatal depression, to help you understand why you’re feeling the way you do. Keep a daily mood calendar to track your mood. Rate your anxiety level.
Keep your expectations of yourself manageable. Try to take each day, one day at a time and accept that you may have good days and bad days. Don’t overload yourself with housework, paid work or volunteer work. Set small achievable goals.
Look after your body by eating well, even if you are eating small, frequent meals. Make time to rest, relax, and sleep (maximising sleep opportunities as much as possible, as sleep disturbance is very common with PND).
Work on your physical wellness. Deep belly breathing, planned time out and going for a walk can make you feel better as these are great stress releases. Look into complimentary therapies i.e. Massage, vitamins, acupuncture and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
Seeking out community supports and talking to friends/people who understand can help you to feel connected. See your GP if you are concerned about your mood or your thoughts and to discuss medication as an option.
PlunketLine nurses are available 24/7 on freephone 0800 933 922
Mothers Matter - www.mothersmatter.co.nz
Depression.org.nz - www.depression.org.nz
Father and Child Trust