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Depressed New Mothers

Research has shown that new mothers are prone to suffer from postnatal depression during their child's first year, According to the Victorian State Government in Australia, around one in ten mothers develop this condition.

One treatment used to prevent incidences of postnatal depression is a debriefing session after the child's birth. Unfortunately, even in instances where such a debriefing session is run for new mothers, the length of depression and depression rates have not been found to decrease. Instead the sessions may possibly heighten the mothers' focus on what they have experienced, leading to a less optimal outcome in the long run.

A new mother suffering from depression can indirectly affect her newborn too. This is because the first year is the period when a mother starts to form a bond with her new baby. If the mother is unwell due to depression at this stage, the effectiveness of the bonding may reduce. However the bonding process can restart after the depression has lifted.

A Possible Solution

Instead of holding debriefing sessions, longer-term screening - like those delivered to emergency service workers and disaster victims - can be used. This would allow the mother to keep in contact with support services, allowing for more effective treatment.

Postnatal depression can also be helped by prior preparation, both mentally and emotionally. One way that this can be done is to become aware of the need to stimulate the mind while performing the numerous mundane tasks involved in caring for a newborn baby. This puts the mother 'on guard' against feeling bored and unmotivated after the baby is delivered. Partners and/or family can also help in this regard.

Creating a network of housebound mothers to support each other can also help to create newness within the self. This can be done by getting involved in activities that can be done in a group. For instance, a group of friends can gather at someone's home and watch a video on yoga, meditation, relaxation therapy or any other healing activity.

Most importantly, conquering postnatal depression is about accepting the challenges that come along, and being content with the difficulties. A little baby constantly needs love, nurturing and maintenance. Because a baby cannot express their gratitude, sometimes mothers may not be able to comprehend their child's appreciative feelings. To 'tune in' to these, mothers need to constantly calm their minds - willing themselves to relax, breathing in peace and breathing out stress. A good tip for new mothers is to expect the baby to cry, as it is their form of communicating their wants. After all, he or she might just be screaming "I love you!".


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