Antenatal and Postnatal Depression and Anxiety


Antenatal Depression and Anxiety

Many people are aware of postnatal depression (PND) but it's less commonly known that you can experience depression during pregnancy as well. It’s a time when everyone expects you to be ‘glowing’, yet if you’re down in the dumps every other day, feel more stressed and anxious than you do happy, you could be suffering from perinatal depression (also known as antenatal depression). It’s important to remember you are not alone, with one in ten woman suffering with the condition at some point during their pregnancy.

Antenatal anxiety is even more prevalent than depression. You can read about some of the feelings associated with anxiety here.

Postnatal depression and Anxiety

It's natural to feel emotional and overwhelmed after experiencing childbirth and becoming a parent. The 'baby blues' is a brief period of feeling emotional and tearful around three to 10 days after giving birth, which affects many new mothers. Although having the baby blues may be distressing, it's important to be aware that it doesn't last long – usually only a few days – and is generally quite manageable.

However, some new mothers develop a much deeper and longer depression known as postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within six weeks of giving birth. It might come on gradually or it might appear all of a sudden. You might find yourself with any combinations of the following feelings: sad, low, tearful, worthless, hopeless, tired, unable to cope, irritable, angry, guilty, indifferent to your partner, hostile or indifferent towards your baby.

You might also notice that you're finding it hard to concentrate, or having trouble sleeping, or a reduced appetite, or low sex drive, or having suicidal thoughts.

Postnatal Anxiety can overlap lots of these feelings, and can often be more common than PND. Our Psychologists can help you determine the difference.

Postnatal depression and postnatal anxiety are also a significant issue for men and should not be ignored.

Getting Help

If you'd like to speak to a professional psychologist about your depression, please call us on (02) 4947 2412 or send us a message. It is best to get a referral from your GP before making an appointment so that you will be able to claim the Medicare rebate.