Postnatal depression still considered 'normal'

12:0AM, Jul 8th 2010

Depression is considered a normal part of pregnancy and giving birth, a new study has found.

Postnatal depression
Postnatal depression or the baby blues?

Depression is considered a normal part of pregnancy and giving birth, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by mental health group BeyondBlue, reported 57 percent of respondents in a nationwide study believed postnatal depression was caused by women having unrealistic expectations of motherhood, The Age reported. A further 25 percent believed postnatal depression would go away without any formal treatment.

"If people think that depression is a normal consequence of pregnancy, they're less likely to seek help," BeyondBlue's deputy chief executive officer Dr Nicole Highet told The Age. "This has important implications for the detection and treatment of depression, given that one in 10 women will experience this illness while pregnant."

Dr Highet found the results of the study concerning, noting there is still public confusion about the difference between postnatal depression and the baby blues. The baby blues are caused by changes in hormone levels up to 10 days after birth, during which new mums are often very emotional, The Age reported.

Unlike the baby blues, which ease as hormone levels return to normal levels, postnatal depression does not disappear naturally and women suffering from this disorder will need medical treatment, Dr Highet said.

Treatment for postnatal depression can range from psychological treatment, while extreme cases can require drugs.

"A lot of postnatal depression might be just put down to the normal part of having a baby. [Then] it wouldn't be picked up early, it wouldn't be treated early and it may become more severe," Dr Highet said.

"The faster you detect it and treat it, the faster the woman recovers. It's easier to treat mild or moderate depression than when it becomes severe."

The survey found people were very sympathetic towards women suffering from postnatal depression, with 92 percent of participants agreeing women who suffered from the condition could still be good mothers. This figure, however, declined in the 55-years and over category, which Dr Highet told The Age was another reason sufferers might not seek treatment as their mothers or mothers-in-law might believe it to be a case of "not coping" rather than an actual medical condition.

BeyondBlue's survey results are a part of a new campaign to raise awareness of the condition. State and federal governments have committed $85 million over the next five years to better assess, treat and support women who suffer from postnatal depression.


comments powered by Disqus

Related articles

 
 
instagram
  • A gorgeous photo of baby Sonny Blake via @zotheysay enjoying his first solid food. Such a big milestone! When did your babies first start solids?

    mother and baby A gorgeous photo of baby Sonny Blake via @zotheysay enjoying his first solid food. Such a big milestone! When did your babies first start solids?

    More from the team
  • Yup, it's Monday. Again.
Here's a cute puppy to ease the pain 🐶

    mother and baby Yup, it's Monday. Again. Here's a cute puppy to ease the pain 🐶

    More from the team
  • "There’s a little part of me that’s feeling just a little heartbroken (and to be honest, rejected)." Search "Erin Blog" on MotherAndBaby.com.au to read Erin's latest blog about raising her toddler son.

    mother and baby "There’s a little part of me that’s feeling just a little heartbroken (and to be honest, rejected)." Search "Erin Blog" on MotherAndBaby.com.au to read Erin's latest blog about raising her toddler son.

    More from the team
  • New research has explained why some women go into premature labour. Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search 'premature births' to read the full story.

    mother and baby New research has explained why some women go into premature labour. Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search 'premature births' to read the full story.

    More from the team
  • Do wish your baby was sleeping right now so you had the chance to grab some zzz's too? Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search 'sleep' for some helpful solutions. Hang in there. Your bub will fall asleep eventually 💤💤

    mother and baby Do wish your baby was sleeping right now so you had the chance to grab some zzz's too? Visit MotherAndBaby.com.au and search 'sleep' for some helpful solutions. Hang in there. Your bub will fall asleep eventually 💤💤

    More from the team
  • Today we're remembering all babies born sleeping, and babies lost to miscarriage and post natal causes. 1 in 4 women will experience a baby loss.

    mother and baby Today we're remembering all babies born sleeping, and babies lost to miscarriage and post natal causes. 1 in 4 women will experience a baby loss.

    More from the team
  • "She was an angel in every sense of the word." Read this brave mum's heartbreaking sorry of losing her baby >>> direct link on our profile.

    mother and baby "She was an angel in every sense of the word." Read this brave mum's heartbreaking sorry of losing her baby >>> direct link on our profile.

    More from the team
  • And some days you don't even find time to change out of your PJ's at all!

    mother and baby And some days you don't even find time to change out of your PJ's at all!

    More from the team
  • Wow! Check out Bob's transformation - not everyone's happy about it! Read the juice on our website today! Click the link on our profile to take a look. #bobthebuilder

    mother and baby Wow! Check out Bob's transformation - not everyone's happy about it! Read the juice on our website today! Click the link on our profile to take a look. #bobthebuilder

    More from the team
  • Yup, we're all partied out!
Friday nights just aren't what they used to be before kids! #sotired #earlynight #goodnight #yawn

    mother and baby Yup, we're all partied out! Friday nights just aren't what they used to be before kids! #sotired #earlynight #goodnight #yawn

    More from the team