Bek on PND

Post Natal Depression  It IS more common than you think.

If you think you or someone close to you may be suffering from post natal depression please talk to someone today.

You don't need to go through it alone.

Post Natal Depression is estimated by some to effect as much as 1 in 4 mothers. This means either you, your mum, your mother in
 law, your best friend, the mother at your kids school you always talk too, your sister, your daughter even your neighbour could have gone through it at some level.
Rebecca Mugridge Pram WalkingThe biggest misconception with post natal depression is that it is only the extreme cases you might see on the TV or read about it when the truth is, it can be so varied and different, mothers can have different symptoms and it can vary from mild to very extreme and everything in between.
Some women have quite mild symptoms and some very serious and severe, some even suffer during pregnancy. All should be treated with respect, dignity and loving support.

What IS a common thread to it is that suffering from post natal depression has NO CORRELATION to you specifically as a mother. It is something experienced by women from all walks of life, from high incomes to low incomes, from celebrities to everyday mums, it doesn't discriminate and it doesn't only affect those with hardships in their lives; and the most important thing to remember is suffering from PND is nothing to be ashamed of, it doesn't make you any less than as a mother, it does not mean you don‘t love your baby, it does not mean you aren't happy to be a mum.

After my daughter Lily I was a mess and very depressed but I found it so hard to admit how I was feeling, how much I wasn't coping, I cried alone.
I thought that if I admitted how I was feeling I was failure and a bad mother, I thought people would judge me, treat me differently - I had no idea just how much support and understanding there actually is out there.
So what can you do if you think you are or someone close to you is suffering from PND?
  • Reach out to those around you. You’ll probably be very surprised to learn that some of the mothers you know have been through the exact same thing and words cannot describe the relief of sharing your story, sharing your experiences and knowing you are not alone in this
  • Get Support. Along with talking it over with your doctor and midwife ( who should always be your first point of reference) there are fantastic groups out there for mum’s that can make such a positive, non judgemental difference.
    From to the Facebook group!/MumsHelpingMumsPND
  • Get out of the house. It might feel like the last thing you want to do but it can make such a difference to your day. Get out in the rejuvenating fresh air, get away from the housework, even if it’s just for 30 minutes it can really help.
  • Go for a pram walk. New studies have been conducted that show there is a definite link between exercise and easing depression.
    Professor Mary Galea with the University of Melbourne found that exercise can reduce the risk of PND by as much as 50%.
    And it was pram walking that helped me personally so much during my depression after having my daughter Lily. Every single walk we did I felt a little better, like the dark cloud lifted just a little each time until eventually I felt like a new me and the skies all seemed blue. Calmer, happier, less angry, and alive again. No longer looking in from a lonely place.
  • Build a support network. It is a sad fact that in our busy modern lives we have less and less extended family and support networks around us and a solid support network is SO important for all new mum’s. If you don’t have a lot of family close by reach out and build one. Ask your midwife when you are pregnant for link’s to mother’s groups in your area and to introduce you to other pregnant mum’s.
    even having someone who can come over and cuddle your baby so you can have a relaxed shower can literally transform your day.
  • Socialise. It can be the last thing you feel like doing sometimes with a newborn but it can help your day so much. Some light laughter, sharing stories and just even adult conversation can really help brighten your day.
  • Nurture yourself. You are important. Try to include some healthy foods in to your diet, drink plenty of water and take whatever help family and friends offer and try not stress over the little things, your post baby body or the housework!
You can read my story of getting through my post natal depression with the help of exercise in my book, The Pram Diet where I share my very personal account of what I went through and how my daily pram walks lifted me out of the heaviness I found myself in.
I built up such a stigma around post natal depression in my head, I don't even know where that came from, maybe it was never knowing anyone close to me had been through it-even though many had. Or maybe it was the term mental illness itself making it sound so extreme.
I didn't find myself wanting to harm my baby but I did feel like I was doing everything wrong.
I did feel alone, tired, stressed out and cut off from the world.
I cried every night in the shower. I crumpled into a mess everyday when I was left home, alone, with my baby who I was sure thought I was a terrible mother.
Even when my baby did sleep I couldn't.
I worried over every possible thing that could go wrong. If I relaxed for even a minute something might happen to my baby...I felt like I had to do everything myself and everything perfectly.

It was living in a heavy shroud of darkness, where only faint streaks of light peeked through. Enough to keep going but never enough to allow a patch of beautiful blue sky to warm completely my world of grey.

For me discovering exercise was my release. Every time I took my baby out for a walk, in amongst the tree's, the birds, under the sun and in that fresh air. I felt a little better and a little lighter in every sense of the word.

Yes I lost 30 kilo's of actual physical with those walks but I also probably more importantly lost the deep, dark weight of depression and discovered a passion for my own health and wellbeing and sharing inspiration with other mums.
There is so much support out there-you don't ever need to suffer alone xx
If you know of are in or run a PND support group or program please let me know so I can add your links here.
Supporting each other in the journey that is motherhood.
Rebecca xx
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