Unfortunately, it touches about 1 in 10 women, and can be devastating.
There is a lot of advice and help out there, from mostly well-meaning friends, relatives, professionals, para-professionals and just about every Tom, Dick and Harriette. Some of it is very helpful and some... not quite as helpful (to put it nicely). Here are some comments you may hear from the well-meaning-but-wish-she'd-just-shut-up aunty Joy:
- “It is because you had your babies too close”.
- “It is because you had your babies too far apart”.
- “It is because you're not breastfeeding”.
- “It is because you think about things too much”.
The idea that PND or any other negative experience for that matter, can affect anyone, is not something we like to live with. Unfortunately, the world seems a safer place if we can blame the victim.
But in reality, Postnatal depression does not discriminate. It doesn't care about your age, or how long it's been since you had your last baby. It comes knocking on your door whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. And it sure as hell doesn't care about how much you've thought about it while you were pregnant!
Tell aunty Joy the shrink said so!