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
  • Those eyes!!
This gorgeous girl is today's "Babe of the Day", via @jessie_maree_cee

Nominate your cherub to become our Babe of the Day by tagging your photo with #MBbabeoftheday @motherbaby_au

    mother and baby Those eyes!! This gorgeous girl is today's "Babe of the Day", via @jessie_maree_cee Nominate your cherub to become our Babe of the Day by tagging your photo with #MBbabeoftheday @motherbaby_au

    More from the team
  • In this month's issue of Mother & Baby magazine @officialtamminsursok and her daughter, Phoenix are our gorgeous covergirls. 
Tammin talks about Hollywood and juggling motherhood; "Becoming a parent is a big adjustment and identity shift. I don’t think it comes straightaway to everyone, or as naturally as people may think." Click our profile link and search "Tammin Sursok" for her full interview.

    mother and baby In this month's issue of Mother & Baby magazine @officialtamminsursok and her daughter, Phoenix are our gorgeous covergirls. Tammin talks about Hollywood and juggling motherhood; "Becoming a parent is a big adjustment and identity shift. I don’t think it comes straightaway to everyone, or as naturally as people may think." Click our profile link and search "Tammin Sursok" for her full interview.

    More from the team
  • We've interviewed Sophie from @theyoungmummy for our latest magazine. Read our chat with her on motherandbaby.com.au

    mother and baby We've interviewed Sophie from @theyoungmummy for our latest magazine. Read our chat with her on motherandbaby.com.au

    More from the team
  • You don't need to be a size 10 to look fabulous during your pregnancy. Fashion designer @mammabellestyle shows us how bloggers @girlwithcurves and @icurvy rock a curvy pregnancy.

Read the article at motherandbaby.com.au and search "Plus size maternity"

    mother and baby You don't need to be a size 10 to look fabulous during your pregnancy. Fashion designer @mammabellestyle shows us how bloggers @girlwithcurves and @icurvy rock a curvy pregnancy. Read the article at motherandbaby.com.au and search "Plus size maternity"

    More from the team
  • The never-ending story!

    mother and baby The never-ending story!

    More from the team
  • Little London you are adorable with your sunny smile and curly hair. You were an easy pick for today's Babe of the Day, via @Katedblasi_photography

Share your photo and tag it #MBbabeoftheday @motherbaby_au and we might select your photo for our next Babe of the Day.

    mother and baby Little London you are adorable with your sunny smile and curly hair. You were an easy pick for today's Babe of the Day, via @Katedblasi_photography Share your photo and tag it #MBbabeoftheday @motherbaby_au and we might select your photo for our next Babe of the Day.

    More from the team
  • A big happy birthday to @jodigordon who recently turned the big 3-0. We love this gorgeous snap of Jodi with her bub, Aleeia taken at her birthday bash!

    mother and baby A big happy birthday to @jodigordon who recently turned the big 3-0. We love this gorgeous snap of Jodi with her bub, Aleeia taken at her birthday bash!

    More from the team
  • Pregnant and looking for some stylish advice & inspiration? Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style via MagShop.com or in supermarkets & newsagents

    mother and baby Pregnant and looking for some stylish advice & inspiration? Grab your copy of our latest issue of Pregnancy Life + Style via MagShop.com or in supermarkets & newsagents

    More from the team
  • Long weekends are never long enough!

    mother and baby Long weekends are never long enough!

    More from the team
  • Look at the grin on this happy little fella! We couldn't go past his grinning face for today's Babe of the Day. Just gorgeous @rrousianos #MBbabeoftheday

    mother and baby Look at the grin on this happy little fella! We couldn't go past his grinning face for today's Babe of the Day. Just gorgeous @rrousianos #MBbabeoftheday

    More from the team