24th November 2010 | Sunshine Coast Daily
IMAGINE not cracking a smile when you are around Avani Jaremus, 2, and her nine-month-old baby sister Chella. Avani squeals when Dorothy the Dinosaur’s head pops up on television, and Chella barely registers her fingertips being crunched by a wayward tricycle as she crawls about the floor. This scene of domestic bliss is a stark contrast to their mother Kristi’s almost-crippling postnatal depression (PND) immediately after the birth of her first child.
It is a load shared by at least one in six mothers. Kristi, 33, a financial controller, and her husband meticulously planned their parenthood. And everything was going swimmingly until the pair left the hospital with tiny Avani. “Looking back, when we put Avani in the car, I was bawling my eyes out,” Kristi said. “I didn’t know what I was doing, and of course no one does, but it never got better for me.”
Kristi attended a mothers’ group but found herself putting on a “front” because the other mums seemed so content with their cubs. “I just isolated myself because I had no energy for the front any more.” It took five months for Kristi to see her GP, who diagnosed her condition and recommended a psychologist. Within four weeks the fog began to lift.
She visited psychologist Lisa Lindley’s Mooloolaba practice and later attended her support group for PND-sufferers. “It was great to meet face-to-face with other women because there’s such a stigma that no one talks about,” she said.
Now, more than 12 months after her diagnosis, she is a doting mother who is more relaxed. Kristi’s message to any concerned mother is to see a GP. “Even if you’re feeling down and feeling a bit of doubt, they might just tell you it’s a rough spot, or it might be something more serious they can help with,” she said.