5 Tips for Avoiding the Dreaded Post Natal Depression

Before continuing to read it should be noted that I have absolutely no qualifications to write this post – besides of course being a mother of 2 with 2 on the way.

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I went to uni and studied Psychology, but deferred forever after 3 weeks. Nothing I ever say should be taken seriously or override anything your counsellor/health professional has advised. However I think I’m wise as fuck so have a read and take what you want on board.

I don’t like the term “Post Natal Depression” It sounds so depressing, like if you find the early stages of parenthood depressing then you have a condition.. Well having babies IS depressing, its so depressing, not the part you see on Facebook where the husband is bathing the baby and everyone is smiling in maternal bliss, or the older sibling is “Being Sweet” to the newborn and the mum is actually wearing mascara. But the real part, the part where the four walls of your living room are closing in on you, your friends are slowly dropping off and the man you once doted over and thought was the absolute shit is now just a big total wave of resentment. That’s normal, it passes but it’s normal. So here’s what to do.

Get a snuggy, or “Special blanket/Scarf”. The purpose of this item is that everyone who’s close to you knows that when you are wearing it you have cracked, not coping, checking out for a while, the snuggy is for Ground Zero days. Before putting on your straight jacket (Snuggy) make sure all children and babies are safe, like theres no water in the bath, the babies in its cot, the toddlers watching TV etc and pop it on. If you’re alone when you don the snuggy (Mine is a big South American style Alpaca poncho) text your mum/dad/aunty/best friend or partner a picture of you in the Snuggy. This is their cue to come over and take over because shits going down.
Once someone arrives check out, babies can scream their heads off if they are safe, toddlers can throw food around the house cos mumma ain’t listening. I like to stair at a wall for an hour while someone else cleans my house and changes nappies. Yes there will be whispers, concerns for your mental state etc but you and I will both know that your just giving yourself a breather and demanding that someone else deals with your living hell for a while.

2 Socialise. This seems ridic, like you need to be reminded. But it can be easy to just say “Fuck it” When getting out seems so god dam hard and staying in your undies on the couch seems so much easier. You will go insane. Trust me. And don’t for a second think that Facebook is socialising, its not. Facebook is a lovely reminder or everything thats going perfectly for everyone else and sucks for you. Facebook is not real, its a snap shot of the best bits. Face to face socialising even when you didn’t want to do it in the first place is therapeutic, other women are mostly kind, mostly lovely, some of your most intimate moments post birth will be with other women especially those who have been there, your contact with them needs to be prioritised.

3 Men feel useless when a newborn comes home. Bla bla bla boo fucking hoo.
Let me rephrase, men behave uselessly when a newborn comes home. They do get better, when your kid turns 2 they step up and sometimes even take over.
So at the end of the day your chances of PND will be greatly lessened if you expect very little from your husband and avoid friends who still like theirs (that too is depressing) Don’t be scared, you can do this alone.

4 Don’t even entertain the mummy comp. Its a big fucking competition of who’s a better mum and the minute you give birth all the mummy olympians come a knocking. They want you and not on their teams, they want your photo on their spotless walls of defeat. They want to have beaten you in the child birth comp, the mummy morals comp, the brest feeding comp, the sleeping babies, the weight loss comp, it just goes on and on. Its worse online, post anything about your kid or motherhood and out come the keyboard warriors. You will know who your real friends are because the only competitions they want to partake in is the ‘who has gone the longest without washing their hair comp’ or the who’s managed to avoid sex for the longest comp and they cackle over a bottle of wine with you (yes while yours breast feeding)

5 Babies cry, dishes pile up you need to prioritise your sanity. A baby who is fed, burped and has a dry bum yet is still crying because it isn’t being walked from room to room and rocked and sang to is not as important as a vagina that has not been washed in over 24 hours. Put the baby in its safe place, let it cry and have that shower. Dishes and washing despite what husbo might think are NOT as important as your cup of tea or coffee, they are NOT as important as your daily exercise, they are NOT as important as that hour long chat with your bestie on her lunch break. Get your priorities sorted, your the captain of this ship, if your a nutty sleep deprived lunatic incapable of wiping her own arse then a sparkling kitchen means SHIT ladies.

And thats about all I have to say on the topic. On a final note just remember one thing, when it comes to babies, everything is temporary, the victories and the downfalls. However on a gradual scale everything is getting easier, slowly as it may seem. You’re a mum, you’re winning.
And in the spirit of keeping things real – here is the worst photo ever taken of my fat pregnant self.

Bet you’re feeling better already.

**Post edited- when I wrote this a couple years ago remembering the times when I had PND and I’d flick through social media and end up just feeling worse about myself. I wrote a line about avoiding fashion blogger’s pages and named one, but Queen shaming is not what I’m about. I reserve the right to evolve as a person and change my mind on things that matter as often as I do my non-designer undies. Con xo

7 Comments
  1. Profile photo of Claire
    Claire 9 months ago

    This. This is amazing. If it were Facebook I would tag my sister because she needs this

  2. Profile photo of LozJackHarry
    LozJackHarry 9 months ago

    The only cure is a very strong sedative that renders you unconscious for about ohhh 3 months?? Hell, let’s say a year. I wish babies came out as one year olds. Why do giraffes have babies that fall metres to the ground and then get up and walk away and pretty much look after themselves yet we have a thing that can’t even hold it’s own head up let alone get anywhere on it’s own to find a source of food to keep itself alive? 2 days after having my second baby the sun came up (I hadn’t slept all night due to horrific after pains) and I proceeded to bawl my eyes out, my partner was laying on a glorified bench seat the hospital liked to call a “guest bed” near the foot of my bed and looked over and asked what was wrong with me. I had no idea where to start but after about 30 minutes of incoherent sobbing I told him I felt like shit, I hadn’t slept, my baby was in another hospital about to have heart surgery, my other baby was with my parents at the accommodation we’d been staying at leading up to the birth as we lived 10 hours away from the hospital we needed to have the baby at, I had just had a feeling wash over me that felt just like the beginning of a cold coming on, I needed to see my baby, he was missing out on bonding with me, he was probably crying and wondering where his mummy was, but I couldn’t see him coz I “had a cold” and if he caught the cold I apparently had, it would kill him coz he was so poorly. I couldn’t take painkillers for the pain I was experiencing which was worse than the birth coz I was breastfeeding and the drugs would fuck my milk and make the baby even sicker than he already was and I felt like I was going to be scolded by nurses coz I hadn’t managed to express any colostrum overnight into the stupid fucking syringes they gave me. My poor partner just drew a blank and I don’t blame him. He quite understandably thought I had lost the plot but had NO idea what was actually going thru my head. He thought I was just crying coz I had one problem and it was easily fixed. I was being irrational. Then a nurse walked in. She saw me crying and knew exactly what to say and do. She told me what drugs I could have, told me I was fine, the baby was fine, “what do you want to do?” My response: “see my baby…” She said “ok, go see him! You’re fine! You won’t kill him. You just need some sleep and to see your baby. Go see him, come back and I’ll give you the drugs you need to sleep.” As soon as she said that I was fine! I had a shower and got dressed and walked over to the children’s hospital with my partner. I didn’t end up sleeping for a couple more days but somehow I just functioned, and I swear it was purely due to that queen of a fucking nurse coming in and slapping me around the ears to knock some sense into me. The baby had open heart surgery at 13 days old, went home just over a week later and he’s been fine ever since! I don’t care to look back on those first few weeks or months really. I’m sooooo glad it’s all over! But I’m so glad I experienced it as I now know exactly what to offer a new mum. Two ears, free food and a fucking endone!

    • Profile photo of Tearainy
      Tearainy 7 months ago

      Bawling my eyes out while reading this…. My first baby was born with a bad infection and a popped lung, so I remember all those feelings of helplessness. I’m so glad you had a nurse who understood enough to help you through it and that everything is going better now. Amazing how strong we can all be <3

  3. Profile photo of Mary O!
    Mary O! 9 months ago

    I.loved yr story LozJackHarry !!!

  4. Profile photo of Tearainy
    Tearainy 7 months ago

    As a mum who had postpartum depression I would like to say thank you. It’s bloody hard keeping your shit together all the time and living up to the expectations that are put on you to always have the house clean, the laundry done, 3 meals a day on the table as well as looking after a baby or 2 or more.
    When I had my second daughter, she was born a month early and I had to stay in a hotel and walk to the hospital every three hours to feed my girl because I wasn’t allowed to keep my 14 month old girl with me in hospital. I had no sleep, was stressed to the max because I couldn’t breastfeed properly so I had to express and bottle feed. My then partner wasn’t supportive at all, didn’t help and even took on a new job before telling me the day I got my baby out of hospital that I had to pack up the house and move 5 hours inland while looking after my babies while he was off at his new job. I had no license, no friends, no family because he had made sure I wasn’t able to be near them and so I ended up in a really dark place. I couldn’t leave the house because there was nowhere to go, I had no help and everyday when my now ex partner got home he would tell me that I was a terrible mother because I forgot to hang out the laundry, that I was worthless because I was too tired to make him a proper hot breakfast at 4 am every morning, that I was a failure as a woman because I couldn’t preform for him in bed and that him and my beautiful babies were better off without me because I was too useless to keep on top of the housework. I eventually started to believe him and tried to end my life.
    After that I ended up in hospital and got some much needed help. Sometimes you need to hear that you are a good person and worthwhile in order to believe it. I am now going through a custody battle for my kids and am happy to say that it’s going well. I just wish that when I really needed it I had someone like you to point out that my sanity and wellbeing should be on top of the list with my children’s, not at the bottom. So cheers to you my dear Constance I hope this article helps some new mums out there before it’s too late for them as it almost was for me.

  5. Profile photo of UNA
    UNA 4 months ago

    I have just signed up today. I wish I have fund your site earlier but at least I am here now.

    I spent most of the first six months of my maternity moaning of my old life…that old carefree life of mine, and the old me…with a cool job, and a size 8 body with so much confidence and the attitude of everything is possible. I am no longer that person. I have friends who were kind to listen to me moaning and crying about my life. But I have no one I can call to help me cook, clean, or give me a break from the baby. The worst of all I don’t feel that I can talk about this (fully) with my husband, not whenever I want to anyway.

    I am in a process of learning to accept the new me, and trying to reconnect to some part of the old me. I am like you, I am confuse whether I am happy or not. It will be a long process but hopefully I get there at the end. xx

  6. Profile photo of Meg Johnson
    Meg Johnson 1 month ago

    Currently suffering with PND myself.. first time mummy to a 7month old little boy.. everything you have said couldnt be more true. Absolutely love you con. Thankyou queen xxxxxx

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