Feeling a bit depressed

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Feeling a bit depressed

Postby ben » Sun 23 Jan, 2011 12:32 pm

Hi, I think I am just overtired and a bit overwhelmed getting used to a new baby, she is lovely, feeds and settles fairyl well, now 8 weeks old, but I can get a bit teary in the day and just generally feel down emotionally, partner is suppotive, don't want to worry him, could I be depressed?
Thank you
ben
 
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Re: Feeling a bit depressed

Postby NgalaOnline » Sun 23 Jan, 2011 9:22 pm

Thank you for your post.

The feelings you are having are a common experience for many parents as they adjust to the demands of early parenting. The newborn weeks can be a very demanding and draining time as small babies require constant care and attention making it hard to get a break. Going from being busy in the workplace to being at home alone with a small baby dependent on you for long hours, with limited adult interaction can be a shock and a difficult adjustment for many new parents. Sleep deprivation, health issues for parent or baby, financial concern, lack of practical help with household tasks or child care, social isolation, single parenting or lack of emotional support are just some of the many potential stressors that can make adjusting to parenting even more challenging.

Taking care of yourself and making sure your needs are met at this demanding time is very important. Having healthy, happy parents who are working as a team is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your baby. Taking some short periods of time away from your baby can be very beneficial in helping you to recharge your batteries. If you have support available to you, now is a very good time to reach out for that support. People often enjoy being able to help new parents and babies. You might like to consider asking a family member, friend or neighbour to support you by providing a cooked meal once a week, doing a domestic chore for you, or sitting with your baby for an hour or two whilst you have a sleep or take a walk. Sharing the load with your partner can be very helpful in giving you both an opportunity to bond with and get confident with caring for your baby, and also giving you both some time to recharge and care for your own needs.

You mention that your partner is supportive - this is fantastic. It can be very important to talk openly and honestly with your loved ones about the feelings you are having and how they can assist you. Making time to sit down and share with your partner about your feelings provides him with the opportunity to be fully included in the family and to be able to assist you the best he can. Rather than burdening him, you may find he is relieved to be able to discuss this and work out how he can help.

Tearful days can be a normal part of the adjustment to early parenting or sleep deprivation, but teariness and low mood can also sometimes be an indicator of postnatal depression. People who have had previous episodes of depression are more at risk of postnatal depression. The Beyond Blue website contains useful information about the signs and symptoms of PND:

http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=103.885

You may also find the information on the link below helpful:

http://www.ngala.com.au/You-and-Your-Fa ... g-a-Parent

It can be very helpful to talk about your feelings with your child health nurse or GP, who will be able to assess your feelings and assist you with getting support and treatment if it is determined that you are suffering from depression. I commend you on reaching out for help about the feelings you are having.
This information is general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for the personalized assistance that can be received from the Ngala Helpline by telephone.

For families residing in Western Australia you can also contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or 1800 111 546 for country access
Available 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm
or request a callback online http://www.ngala.com.au/Ngala-and-You/Ngala-Helpline/Contact-Ngala-Helpline-Online

For helplines in other Australian states please follow this link
http://www.ngala.com.au/You-and-Your-Family/Web-Based-Resources
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