Becoming a parent is one of the most poignant and significant life moments that we can experience. Pregnancy and subsequently giving birth changes everything, forever.

And this is not just the case for first time parents, this also applies to second or other children. It is a major change for you and your family.

When a new child arrives, there are many pressures experienced by parents and it is common to feel that you aren’t up to scratch as a parent. Everybody needs support and help from their immediate family and friends at this very important time in your life.

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Becoming and being a parent is one of the most rewarding and yet equally difficult experiences you can encounter. It is very common to feel a wide variety of emotions throughout your pregnancy and your first postnatal (also known as the perinatal period) year.

Sometimes, you will feel excitement and happiness, and other times you’ll feel overwhelmed, worried or anxious.

There are a number of factors that can affect how you feel, including the support you’re receiving, your physical health, previous stressful experiences in your life and your own childhood experiences, a traumatic birth experience and complications in your current or past pregnancy. There is no guidebook to being a parent.

Best Treatment for Postnatal Depression

It is not rare to experience mental health issues during pregnancy or after birth – in fact, this happens to 20% of new mums. Most commonly, the mental health issues experienced are anxiety and depression.

Anxiety and depression affect 15% of women overall, and there is also the issue of partners and postnatal depression – partners and new fathers can also experience mental health issues at this stressful time.

It is as important to receive the correct and appropriate treatment for mental health as it is for physical health during pregnancy and within the postnatal time frame.

This provides you with opportunities to enjoy your new family life and to stay as well as possible. Nova Recovery can provide you with advice about possible treatments for postnatal depression and provide you with local resources and treatments for postnatal depression.

If you have any questions about men and postnatal depression treatment or general postnatal depression treatment, please call us today on 01475 303998 to see how Nova Recovery Scotland can help.

If you suffer from substance abuse and postnatal depression, we can offer dual diagnosis treatment at our rehab centre.

Causes of Prenatal or Postnatal Depression

There’s no single easily identifiable cause of postnatal or antenatal depression. There are several different social, psychological and biological factors that result in depression during the perinatal period.

Some of the most common causes are low self-esteem, physical health issues such as anaemia and an underactive thyroid, previous mental health concerns such as depression, stressful life events like a relationship breakup or a bereavement, and a perceived or actual lack of support from family or friends.

Women who cease their antidepressant medication during their pregnancy experience high rates of depression relapse, both during pregnancy and after giving birth – and the risks are higher for those women who have experienced more severe depression.

It’s not advised that you stop taking antidepressants upon becoming pregnant without advice from your doctor.

Postnatal Depression Symptoms Treatment

Antenatal and postnatal depression are like depression at other points in life. Someone experiencing antenatal or postnatal depression is likely to experience anxious and negative thoughts focused on the pregnancy or the baby.

Women often become self-critical about their parenting skills or are concerned about how others will judge them.

Regrettably, some women, their families and even doctors and health visitors do not recognise the onset of antenatal or postnatal depression, and this causes a delay in treatment which can then lead to self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

This is because there is, to some extent, an overlap between normal pregnancy symptoms and depression. Some people unnecessarily worry that professionals may think that they are unable to care for their children.

Additionally, it is common to experience guilt about not feeling excited and happy. Anybody can experience mental health concerns during the perinatal period, and you should not be afraid to ask for help if you feel you’re unwell.

Recognising the symptoms of antenatal and postnatal depression is important. If you have experienced any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, you should speak to your doctor:

  • Poor and diminished concentration
  • Avoiding people, like family and friends
  • Low mood, tearfulness and irritability
  • Low energy and persistent fatigue
  • Poor or no sleep
  • Low appetite
  • Self-neglect
  • Lack of interest and loss of enjoyment in things you usually enjoy
  • Anxious and negative thoughts as well as feelings of guilt
  • Hopelessness, self-harm and suicidal thoughts

The extent that depressive symptoms affect the care you can provide for your new baby varies. Most parents are able to provide support despite being ill. However, those experiencing severe depression may require help and support until they recover.

Postnatal Depression Treatment Scotland

There are two main types of treatment for antenatal and postnatal depression, which are medication and talking therapies. Psychotherapy and counselling provide the chance to explore underlying factors that have caused your depression.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can provide practical steps to deal with the specific problems you’re experiencing. Postnatal depression natural treatment includes yoga, massages, meditation, and relaxation.

Medication is effective if your antenatal and postnatal depression is severe, or long-lasting. It can help to reduce anxiety and help you to feel better equipped to face day-to-day life.

Women who experience postnatal depression may be breastfeeding and are often concerned about the impact of taking antidepressants whilst producing breast milk. However, scientific evidence suggests that the most important aspect is the mother’s mental health.

Help Available Immediately

Becoming a parent is an often difficult and confusing time and this can be exacerbated by antenatal or postnatal depression. You likely have questions, such as how long does postnatal depression treatment last?

If you want to talk about postnatal depression treatment guidelines or are struggling with drug or alcohol addiction as well as postnatal depression, get in touch with Nova Recovery.

We are on hand 24 hours a day to help if depression is getting too much for you and to provide expert advice for new mums and mums to be.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: June 23, 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. His passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases. The journey continues. In recent times, John has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with NAD+ scientists and the very best of the medical professionals in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Hospitals own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists. Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with NAD+ Therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.