Postnatal Depression (PND) affects one in seven women following childbirth in Australia.
Western NSW Local Health District, in partnership with other local non-government organisations, is hosting a free family fun-day to promote Postnatal Depression Awareness Week (16-22 November). All new and expectant parents, family and friends are invited to attend the fun-day in Victoria Park, Dubbo on Thursday 20 November 2014, from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.
Health District Child and Family Health Clinical Nurse Consultant, Janelle Horwood, said the aim of Postnatal Depression Awareness Week is to promote awareness of antenatal and postnatal depression and encourage new and expectant parents to seek help early, while also breaking down the stigma surrounding this common health issue.
“The statistics show that approximately 80% of new mothers experience feelings of tearfulness, irritability and worry in the first few days after the birth of a baby – this is usually known as the baby blues,” Ms Horwood said.
“The symptoms may persist or appear late for one in seven women and these feelings may persist or appear later in the first postnatal year. Women with PND often describe being fearful about normal things that happen with babies and think that they are not doing a good enough job at being a mother. She said it’s important to recognise the difference between the baby blues and PND.
“Unlike the baby blues, PND does not go away after a few days. If symptoms such as low mood, feeling unable to cope, or difficulty sleeping are occurring and don’t go away or seem to be getting worse it’s important to seek help from your GP, midwife, or early childhood nurse”.
The annual family fun-day aims to offer relaxation activities to those that attend so that they leave feeling good about themselves and also know where they can go for help if they feel as though their mental health might be affecting their ability to function on a daily basis and carry out their new parenting roles.
“PND is nothing to be ashamed of. The sooner women ask for help the sooner they can get on with enjoying life with their new baby,” Ms Horwood said.
“It is also important to realise that fathers and partners can also experience mental health problems during this time. Therefore, it’s important for parents to take some time out and look after their own health and well-being”.
The afternoon will include children’s activities, Storytime Session by the Macquarie Regional Library, a jumping castle, relaxation activities for adults, Yoga, Exercise class, Zumba, Laughter Yoga, giveaways, Holden cars on show, Model Aeroplanes, Men’s Shed, information stalls and a free BBQ.
If you suspect either yourself or a loved one could be suffering from Postnatal Depression please contact your local GP or phone the Mental Health Information and Support Service on 1800 011 511.
More Information is also available from www.beyondblue.org.au or at www.panda.org.au.
Contact: For more information about this event please contact Health Promotion and Prevention Officer, Yvonne Muyambi on (02) 6881 4161 or Yvonne.Muyambi@health.nsw.gov.au