Support for new parents

At New Street Medical Centre our doctors hear many new parents discuss that one of the greatest challenges they face, is knowing what is ‘normal’ and what is not. Parents are often told by goodhearted family and friends that feelings of exhaustion, worry or sadness are normal…

– when these feelings might in fact indicate postnatal anxiety or depression.

It is a difficult process to learn how to be a parent, and about the needs and behaviors of a new baby. These feelings are heightened when you are feeling sore, exhausted and perhaps even distressed by your birth experience. If you are struggling to understand your thoughts or feelings and it is affecting your day-to-day activities it is important to seek support. In particular, if your symptoms last more than two weeks, we encourage you to seek help.

More than 1 in 7 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads experience postnatal depression. Postnatal anxiety is just as common, and many parents experience both anxiety and depression at the same time. Postnatal anxiety and depression can be a frightening and isolating experience as parents try to deal with their symptoms at the same time as needing to care for a new baby, and sometimes other children as well. There are treatments, supports and services available to help you through this experience and it is important to know the signs and symptoms, and to seek help early.

Postnatal anxiety and depression can be mild, moderate or severe and symptoms can begin suddenly after birth or appear gradually in the weeks or months during the first year after birth. The severity of postnatal anxiety and depression depends on the number of symptoms, their intensity and the extent to which they interfere with getting on with day-to-day life.

It’s important to remember that postnatal anxiety and depression is temporary and treatable. So if you or your partner experiences any symptoms for more than two weeks, call New Street Medical Centre on 9595 9777 for support.