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A GREATVINE PARENTING GUIDE

Postnatal Depression

A GREATVINE PARENTING GUIDE Postnatal Depression G r e a t v i n e Adviceforlife

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Welcome

Welcome Here at Greatvine we’re dedicated to helping you find the best advice, quickly and easily.

Here at Greatvine we’re dedicated to helping you find the best advice, quickly and easily. From parenting and health to writing and business, great advice from the UK’s top experts is just a phone call away.

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How can I banish

the baby blues?

‘ There must be someone who can help ’

Suffering postnatal depression as a mum can make you feel lonely, distressed and bewildered. But it’s important to know that with the right support you can recover.

Having a close network of family and friends helps, but we can support you with direct, confidential access to leading psychologists, counsellors and other postnatal depression experts. Many have personal experience of overcoming the condition.

This Greatvine booklet contains invaluable advice and expert tips on how to recognise and cope with the symptoms of postnatal depression.

In this edition

4

Meet the postnatal depression experts

6

Expert Q&A with Elaine Hanzak

8

Top tips for a beating the blues

with Elaine Hanzak 8 Top tips for a beating the blues The specialists in the next

The specialists in the next few pages are just a small part of Greatvine. For advice you can trust, visit Greatvine.com and see how we can make a difference to your life. The experts are at the end of the phone, whenever you need.

Meet the

postnatal depression

experts

Speak with a top postnatal depression specialist whenever you need

with a top postnatal depression specialist whenever you need Laura Campbell With specialist training in postnatal

Laura Campbell

With specialist training in postnatal depression, Laura has been able to help numerous sufferers get back on their feet. Her clients have included celebrities, high-flyers and parents of multiples, all of whom have benefited from her friendly, experienced ear. Laura’s a qualified maternity practitioner and aims to support women through pregnancy and beyond. Talk with Laura on 0906 400 6231 - £1.50/min*. greatvine.com/laura-campbell

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G r e a t v i n e Adviceforlife Elaine Hanzak A former postnatal depression

Elaine Hanzak

A former postnatal depression sufferer herself, Elaine’s empathy and practical techniques have helped hundreds of mothers. Her novel ‘Eyes Without Sparkle – a journey through postnatal illness’ described her own experiences with puerperal psychosis, the most severe form of postnatal depression. Elaine inspires women and offers practical suggestions for how to make recovery easier and more effective. Elaine now advises health professionals and family support

groups worldwide about postnatal depression care and treatment. She’s spoken to a wide range of audiences, including the European Parliament, and has appeared on national TV, radio and in magazines & newspapers. Talk with Elaine on 0905 675 4612 - £1.20/min*. greatvine.com/elaine-hanzak

0905 675 4612 - £1.20/min*. greatvine.com/elaine-hanzak Geraldine Lee Nurse and life coach Geraldine has several

Geraldine Lee

Nurse and life coach Geraldine has several decades of experience helping women with personal and emotional difficulties. An expert

on how motherhood can affect mental health, Geraldine offers empathy and compassion as well

as practical support for recovery.

Arrange to talk with Geraldine at: greatvine.com/geraldine-lee

to talk with Geraldine at: greatvine.com/geraldine-lee Ann Girling A qualified development coach and former health

Ann Girling

A qualified

development

coach and former health visitor, Ann recovered from postnatal

depression herself. As a health visitor Ann developed policy for female domestic violence victims, but she feels most fulfilled helping women who are suffering from postnatal depression and knows what a difference listening can make.

A co-author about postnatal

depression and speaker on women’s issues, Ann can help you on the road to recovery. Talk with Ann on 0906 400 6223 - £1.50 per/min*. greatvine.com/ann-girling

0906 400 6223 - £1.50 per/min*. greatvine.com/ann-girling Sonya Murray A former nurse and midwife with 20

Sonya Murray

A former nurse

and midwife with 20 years of experience, Sonya

is the co-founder of an education

organisation which aims to modernise antenatal education and parenting support.

Sonya is passionate about improving women’s emotional health before and after birth. She works with the Scottish Association for Mental Health,

improving the support for pregnant women and new families, and is an expert contributor to national newspapers and magazines. Talk with Sonya on 0906 207 1133 - £1.00 per/min*. greatvine.com/sonya-murray

207 1133 - £1.00 per/min*. greatvine.com/sonya-murray Liz Wise Liz is a qualified counsellor who has specialised

Liz Wise

Liz is a qualified counsellor who has specialised in postnatal depression for 15 years. Having suffered the debilitating illness twice herself, she understands how dreadful the experience can feel and can also support

partners who are affected. Liz wants sufferers to know that postnatal depression is a temporary condition; full recovery is possible with the right support and talking with someone who understands is a large step to recovery. Arrange to talk with Liz at:

greatvine.com/liz-wise

* from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 18+.

Choose from hundreds of great

experts in over 80 topics, only at Greatvine.

www.greatvine.com

Elaine Hanzak helps mums struggling with postnatal depression. Here she answers some of your questions about recognising, and coping with, the condition.

Expert Q & A

Elaine

I can’t stop crying and am scared I’ve got postnatal depression. Are there any pills for it?

Postnatal depression can mean many things, from being a bit tearful to feeling suicidal. If you’re having clinical symptoms of depression such as poor appetite or loss of sleep and concentration, medication can often help to reduce these and speed the process of recovery. But it’s not the answer for everyone as there may be other reasons for how you’re feeling, such as problems with a relationship, which counselling may help. Speak to your GP, as they can take account of your previous medical history and discuss which treatment may be best for you. Remember that postnatal depression is an illness and the chemical imbalance needs to be adjusted.

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I longed for my baby son, but now I just can’t seem to bond. I’m struggling to cope and am scared I don’t love him.

For some new mums, it takes time to develop a maternal bond. Until it happens, don’t feel ashamed, scared or guilty - and try to appreciate that it’s not your fault. Acknowledging that you have difficulty bonding with your baby is a big step towards solving the problem, so well done. First, talk to someone you can trust about your feelings – this may be a postnatal depression expert, midwife or health visitor, partner or friend. If someone seems unsympathetic it’ll be because they don’t understand, so it’s important to speak to someone who does. You needn’t be superwoman, so don’t expect too much from yourself. Build a support team of friends and family, then delegate daily household chores so

you’re free to spend time on you and your baby. Baby massage can help. Get

you’re free to spend time on you and your baby. Baby massage can help. Get to know your baby’s body and they’ll warm to your responses and vice versa. With support, time and patience you and your baby will bond – remember you’re both learning to love each other.

Since my baby was born four months ago I seem to be having relationship problems with loved ones. How can I stop myself being horrible to them?

Research shows that women who have a strong support network and close relationships tend to recover from postnatal illness quicker than those without. But part of the illness affects your moods and personality in such a way that it’s easy to alienate others - for example, by being short-tempered and expecting everyone to read your mind. You may be resisting asking those closest to you for practical help, but try to get over this. Take a deep breath if you’re tempted to criticise anything which isn’t exactly as you wanted – remember there’s more than one way to change a nappy! One approach is to work as a team so no- one feels isolated. Everyone around you needs information about your illness to increase their

understanding.

My baby is one year old and I still feel exhausted and depressed. Could this still be postnatal depression?

Strictly speaking, the term ‘postnatal’ refers to the year after childbirth. But if your symptoms started during this period and haven’t been treated, the label’s irrelevant. It’s important to get professional advice and take steps to recovery. Don’t keep on suffering in silence and hope you’ll feel better automatically. Depression is an illness that can affect us at any time.

I want another baby but suffered badly from postnatal depression with my first child. Am I more likely to suffer from it the second time around?

Perhaps, but every pregnancy is different so you won’t automatically suffer next time too. There are ways to minimise the risk and give you more control and confidence. Before you fall pregnant, speak to your health professionals, family and friends to think about what worked and what didn’t work the first time. Can you remember the early signs of postnatal depression? Tell people to look out for them and take action if necessary. My biggest piece of advice would be to plan for the worst but expect the best. It’s vital to get your support team in place and make sure that in the early days after giving birth you get as much time as possible for rest, for you and your baby. Use your plans to feel reassured and in control, have the support structures ready, think positively and visualise the happy pregnancy you can have.

Talk with Elaine

0905 675 4612

£1.20/min from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 18+.

www.greatvine.com/elaine-hanzak

Top tips for

beating the blues

1

Don’t be afraid to say you need help.

Fear of being thought a ‘bad mum’, or having a baby taken away stops

many women from getting the help they need. Don’t suffer unnecessarily. Be assured that the last thing anyone wants to do is take your baby away. -Geraldine Lee

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-Geraldine Lee G r e a t v i n e Adviceforlife 2 Remember that postnatal

2

Remember that postnatal depression is a treatable illness

from which you’ll

recover, even though at times you may feel you’ll never be happy again. -Elaine Hanzak

3

One of the hardest

things about postnatal depression is the feeling of isolation. But you’re definitely not alone.

Ask for help from anyone you know - especially a postnatal depression expert or health visitor. Someone else will be there who can understand some of what you’re experiencing. -Ann Girling

4

If the way you’re

thinking or feeling doesn’t seem right, speak with a postnatal depression expert or

health visitor. They have lots of experience of working with mothers with various postnatal illnesses. -Geraldine Lee

5

Sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by

everything that needs to be done. You may

just feel hopeless and helpless because you feel you can’t do it all. So every day, try to do one small thing for yourself, even if it’s getting dressed or putting on

some make-up. -Ann Girling

6

Remember that it’s not your fault and

you’re not to blame. Instead of feeling guilty and ashamed, find

experiences that make you feel good. Linking these to the senses is a great way to do this. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend. -Elaine Hanzak

7

Have treats - pamper

yourself with a warm bath or something else with a feel-good factor. Fresh air and exercise

8

Postnatal depression can feel like a rollercoaster

- appreciate the better times and look forward

to them in the down times. -Elaine Hanzak

work wonders for shifting your energies around. Do a bit more of what you love. -Ann Girling

Find more great tips on beating postnatal depression

www.greatvine.com/postnataldepression

Next steps for

more advice

Postnatal depression can make you feel lonely and distressed. While it can help to talk to your loved ones, it’s also good to know where you can get expert advice.

Greatvine lets you talk on the phone with the country’s best experts, whenever you need. Choose from leading specialists in over 80 topics covering all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting – from breastfeeding and baby sleep to postnatal depression and child nutrition.

Visit us online

www.greatvine.com

The team includes counsellors, midwives, breastfeeding specialists, paediatricians, practice nurses, parenting coaches, child nutritionists, child psychologists and more.

With an average of five qualifications each the experts offer advice you can trust. Friendly and understanding, they’re here to help. Many also contribute to TV, radio and to leading magazines & newspapers.

Simply browse the experts’ profiles, choose a specialist and talk whenever you need.

Email us

info@greatvine.com

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