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Post Natal Depression

Postnatal depression is very different to the baby blues that women experience 2-4 days after giving birth when they feel tearful, vulnerable and irritable. These feelings subside within the first few weeks and are also attributed somewhat to the balancing of hormones alongside facing a new life and the immediate needs of a much loved baby.

However, Post Natal Depression lasts much longer and includes some of the following symptoms:

  • Tearful outbursts and feeling overwhelmed with sadness
  • Negative authomatic thoughts, e.g. “I’ll never get over this. I’m a hopeless mother” (leading to depression about having post natal depression)
  • Exhausted and lacking in motivation
  • Finding day-to-day tasks difficult to manage
  • Avoidance of friends and family
  • Feeling disconnected from people and friends. May also feel disconnected from the new baby
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low libido
  • Irritability and anxious (may include panic attacks)
  • Low self-worth
  • Being overprotective around the baby as fearful of harm
  • A feeling of not being able to cope with day-to-day problems
  • Thinking that others are better mothers and your are not good enough without real evidene to support this

Online CBT and Mindfulness can support the individual to:

  • Challenge thinking distortions and replace them with more affirming and self-compassionate thinking styles with CBT thought records
  • Establishing more realistic goals around mothering and being ‘good enough mother’
  • Exploring what the role of parent means to you and where core beliefs influence this
  • Establishing a self-care and relationship nurturing care plan
  • Activity planning handouts to overcome low mood
  • Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy to support overcoming low mood and improve overall sense of wellbeing
  • Using CBT to highlight when thinking – e.g. over personalizing, all or nothing thinking, strategizing for imagined future events is contributing to raised anxiety levels
  • Integrating a Mind-thinking, Emotional-feeling and Body-physiological healing approach to post natal depression

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that looks at:

  • The way you think about yourself/others
  • What you think about the situation or problem you are experiencing and
  • How what you do and feel is influenced by what you think and believe. It includes a solution-focused approach to problems and supports positive change with CBT worksheets

Mindfulness Therapy is beneficial because Mindfulness supports the body and the mind.

  • Integrating Mindfulness improves mental and physical health
  • It helps to relieve stress and improves clarity of mind
  • Mindfulness is supportive in the treatment of depression, low mood, anxiety, couples conflict and stress reduction
  • Mindfulness also helps people to manage painful emotions
(Harvard Medical School)