“Post-partum depression, post-natal depression (PND), the baby blues. Whatever you choose to call it, it is real and it affects more than one in ten mothers in the year following the birth of a child. This is according the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom but is a figure repeated around the world. It can happen to anyone. It might happen after having had no change in mood in a previous pregnancy, or it might happen after the first pregnancy. It can happen even if there is no previous experience of mental health concerns,” Dr. Rose Logan, a Consultant Psychologist at Dubai’s The Lighthouse Arabia, explained to Goodness.
Unfortunately, despite these statistics, new moms around the world are made to feel ashamed for being anything less than ecstatic about the birth of a child. Speaking to women around us, we quickly realized that this was a topic that deserved to be discussed and upon which much light needed to be shed in order to prepare mothers-to-be, but also to create a safe space for dialogue.
“Women need to talk about post-natal mental health. Talk about your fears and concerns and use the resources around you. Good social support is one of the most powerful protective factors, and knowing that there are people around that have your back is big news. Talking about it with family and friends de-mystifies, de-stigmatizes, and might just help someone else even if all goes well for you,” advises Dr. Logan.
In the hopes of doing just that, Goodness will be publishing a series of first-hand experiences from women who have suffered with PND over the next few months. If you have a story to share, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.