You have probably heard of postnatal depression, but did you know that most cases of postnatal depression actually began in pregnancy? And that most people who have antenatal depression have had depression in the past? And did you know that postnatal depression is not caused by women’s hormones gone awry; men are suffering postnatal and perinatal depression in larger and larger numbers too? This is why “postnatal depression” has now been renamed “perinatal depression”(‘peri’ means around, as in the word “perimeter”).
Why is the seemingly joyful event of new parenthood causing so much suffering? Depression seems to be related to the stresses that a modern couple undertakes when they have a baby. The lack of support, lack of celebration, overload of expectations, overwhelming responsibility, isolation, judgment, blaming by the media, tiredness, mixed messages, confusion, high expectations and lack of tender loving care serve to eventually break parents and their relationships. And when we break parents, we break a baby. Babies are our future, and if we break a baby, in the long run, we break society. Postnatal depression takes a high toll on society. Dealing effectively with perinatal depression is about valuing love, connection, calm and stillness, over and above productivity, achievement and acquisition.
About the Author
Mia is a Clinical Psychologist who specialises in the psychology of birth and parenting. She is particularly interested in the feminist issues surrounding birth and parenthood, and how culture shapes our experiences.
Her passion is in making birth and parenting better-natured for mums, dads and babies, and in understanding why this is important. In her day to day life she delivers psychology workshops for midwives and birth professionals, she runs hypnobirthing birth preparation classes for parents, and is a birth doula, whilst raising her three sons. As a trained therapist, she has provided one to one therapy for over 20 years to people struggling with depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.