Post-natal help for new mums

4th Feb 2009 | Sunshine Coast Daily

Tanya McFadyen of Woombye with son Dexter 16 months and Natalie Fraser of Parreara with son Trent 20 months. Photo: Greg Miller

Now entering its third year, the Sunshine Coast post-natal depression support group has reached dozens of Coast women suffering this isolating illness.

Tanya McFadyen said she had valued the session on assertive communication the most, learning when and how to ask for help when at her most vulnerable. She said the session on “the link between our thoughts, feelings and actions made a big impact”.
“Depression can hit anyone from any kind of background,” she said. “I was a primary school music teacher for a number of years and also worked in real estate for a short time. “I always considered myself to be energetic, happy and up-beat … not the kind of person who would get depressed. What a shock. Having a baby changed my world so much. I really had no idea how challenging it would be.

“One of my biggest problems was asking for help. I kept thinking, ‘If I just work harder and faster, I can get everything done’. Wrong. You will never get everything done as a mum so the sooner you learn that the better. “The PND program has helped me to realise these things but the learning process continues.” Natalie Fraser said she was happy she could learn more about post-natal depression in a supportive group environment. “To be able to talk with other mums and share their experiences was very a positive step forward for me,” she said.

Group co-founder Deb Rule said that thanks to psychologist and volunteer group facilitator Lisa Lindley, the free group met each Wednesday. She said mums received support from other women and positive strategies to potentially help reduce the severity and duration of the illness. “It’s amazing that as many as one-in-seven women suffer PND and yet, it is still not widely acknowledged as a problem or even talked about,” she said.

“When I was going through my post-natal depression, I just wanted to talk to other women who were going through the same thing I was and to do something to help myself. But the closest support group was on the south side of Brisbane. “Since starting the group, we’ve come across so many Coast women suffering this on their own. We just want them to know we are here and they don’t have to feel alone.”

The Sunshine Coast Post-Natal Depression Support Group will reconvene on Wednesday.

For more information, phone Lisa Lindley on 0417 540 820

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