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There is no such thing as a supermom
There is no such thing as a supermom
20 Jun 2019

Postnatal depression can be a taboo topic among new parents. It is also one of the leading cause of disability affecting women.

Postnatal depression can be a taboo topic among new parents. It is also one of the leading cause of disability affecting women. With the added pressure of being a supermom, many women are unable to find the help they need. Here is what you need to know when it comes to postnatal depression.

It's more than baby blues

Feelings of joy and appreciation are expected from new parents, but it is not always the case. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 300 million people suffer from postnatal depression across the world, affecting 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.

It can begin in the first year after pregnancy, resulting in feelings of overwhelming sadness and depression. Most mothers are told that it’s just baby blues, but it can often catch new parents when they least expect it and last longer than it should. Becoming a parent can be a huge adjustment for both mothers and their partners, leaving most drained.

Trying to become your own superhero can be exhausting and could also affect a large aspect of your life. If you find yourself experiencing feelings of sadness, fatigue, and helplessness for more than 3 months then it is time to seek professional help.

Symptoms of postnatal depression

Being a new parent takes a lot of work and it can be energy consuming. A study published in the Sleep Research Society Journal revealed that new parents hardly get adequate sleep for the first 6 years after their first child is born. There are no breaks and rarely any rewards, except for sticky kisses and fingers embracing you. Catching the early symptoms of postnatal depression can let you get access to professional help earlier to improve your life. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Overwhelming feelings that make you cry without reason
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constantly feeling fatigued
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Thoughts of wanting to hurt yourself or your baby
  • Relying on substances to keep you going
  • Lack of intimacy or bonding with your baby

Societal standards make it difficult for new parents when they are expected to do it all and feel joyful every day. You are not alone. Having the support of a loved one such as your partner can help a mother manage with postnatal depression. You can also get access to professional help from centres such as:

South African Depression and Anxiety Group on their 24-hour helpline on 0800 456 789


Join a support group at a centre that is closest to you.  

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