Something that I haven’t tried to hide, in fact share throughout these posts is just how hard being a new mum was for me after the birth of my first child Amber. I experienced severe post-natal anxiety and as a result, insomnia for a period of eight months, averaging 3 hours of sleep a night during this time.
If only I knew then, what I know now is pretty much how we all think post-newborn-baby. Most importantly I want to let you know how important it is to seek help. I was one of the lucky few, who had an excellent obstetrician, Dr Vijay Roach who picked up on the fact that I really wasn’t coping at all at my 6 week check-up with him. He recommended a psychologist who worked with me using cognitive behaviour therapy for a period of time. However, this wasn’t sufficient and I ended up needing to use anti-anxiety medication which did the trick. Thank god for modern medicine!
Anyway, I did all my visits to the Early Childhood Centres and they, unfortunately didn’t pick up on my anxiety. Perhaps I was hiding it too well. My point is, let people know you’re not coping or that things are tough. No one is a perfect mum although motherhood may seem to come more naturally to some, than others.
Anyway, here is a list of resources that were useful to me or could be useful to you during these sleep-deprived early days of being a new mum:
1) Your local GP (or obstetrician) – should be your first point of call
2) Post Natal Depression Association: www.panda.org.au
3) Tresillian – if you, like us had a baby who is napping for such short periods and having trouble settling, Tresillian can be a big help. Getting on top of sleep is a big priority.
4) Your state health authority should be able to help you find your local early childhood centre if you haven’t already found yours. www.nslhd.health.nsw.gov.au
Also, let relatives and friends know you could do with some help. Sometimes they think you want them to stand back and give you space. Asking for targeted help (i.e. please help with my laundry) is the best way to remove any doubt or mis-communication.