IN AN age of constant comparison via social media, it’s understandable for parents to feel as though the sleepless nights and grey days aren’t living up to expectations. But sometimes there’s more at play than the usual parental fatigues.
It’s estimated one in six mothers and one in 10 fathers experience postnatal depression and anxiety after the birth of their baby. “I thought to myself, ‘You’re meant to be this tired, you’re meant to be a bit down and blue-ish’,” mum-of-two Aimee Browne said. “Then I realised I was avoiding social situations, I didn’t want to leave the house and when my baby cried, I would feel so helpless.”
Maroochydore-based psychologist and founder of The Sunshine Coast PND Centre Lisa Lindley has been helping parents like Aimee cope with this illness for 10 years now through individual counselling, peer support groups and socials. Ms Lindley said there needed to be more awareness in the community about postnatal depression to break down the stigma associated with the illness. “People can think women with PND are women who don’t love their baby and that couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. “There’s such a pressure and expectation to appear that you’re coping and doing a great job. “That’s the beauty of (our support groups) – you can get there and just be completely honest.”
Mountain Creek mum Beck Cliff said she came out of the support groups with a new confidence. “When you’re battling PND, just getting out of the house for that two hours (for the session) is fantastic,” she said. “In the groups, you share knowledge and it just keeps going around. “I’ve even started doing talks – and I can’t stand public speaking.”
Sunshine Coast PND Centre is celebrated their 10th birthday on May 6.
For more on the Sunshine Coast PND support group, phone 5309 6128.