Having a baby and learning to be a parent is certainly one of life’s greatest challenges.
About 1 in 4 women experiencing mental health difficulties during pregnancy or postnatally (most commonly depression or anxiety). But this doesn’t really give us an indication of women who are struggling who don’t meet ‘cut off’ criteria for depression or anxiety or whose experiences are painful but don’t match criteria on surveys given. It also doesn’t give an indication of the fathers, family members, or siblings who also have difficulty during this stressful period. I would hedge bets that struggling badly at a period of time through pregnancy, postnatally or both is more the norm rather than the exception. You then add to the mix sleep deprivation, physical health complications, traumatic deliveries, stress and expectations around breastfeeding and development, increased stress on relationships and much more… and you have a pretty horrid mix of pain and struggle amongst the beauty, wonder, and amazement of having a child.
Today’s guest is Dr Emma Hanieh, clinical psychologist, Director ACT Center in Aidelade. Womans and Childrens Hospital Adelaide. Run training special mothers and babies.