26-10-2018 06:10 PM - edited 12-11-2018 12:40 PM
One of the main reasons many expecting and new parents affected by perinatal anxiety & depression and postnatal psychosis say they don’t reach out for help is because they didn't understand what was happening to them. Many don’t realise they are ill and therefore suffer for longer than they need to. Many parents, looking back, say that if they had known more and been better able to prepare for some of the challenges they might have been better able to cope.
That’s why this year PANDA - Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia - chose the theme ‘I Wish I Knew’ for PANDA Week 2018. They will be our special guests on the 13th November 2018 right here! We'll be talking about becoming a new parent and how to get help if things become tough.
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13-11-2018 07:02 PM
Thanks for coming along to tonight’s Topic Tuesday where we will be talking about becoming a new parent - "What I Wish I Knew..." as it's Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia week. I am really excited to welcome our guests tonight from @Kezk and @Elke from PANDA.
In terms of how tonight will work, we'll be posting some questions for everyone to engage with! This is a great opportunity to learn from PANDA as well as one another’s experiences. So please feel free to share and discuss together.
So to kick off - I'd love for the PANDA folks to introduce themselves!
13-11-2018 07:03 PM
Hi everyone, my name is Lisa and I am a Volunteer Coordinator at PANDA. I have the privilege of training and mentoring our amazing peer support volunteers on our National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline. Each of our 15 volunteers brings their own unique, lived experience, of struggling in some way during the huge transition to becoming a parent. They help the caller to feel understood and accepted because they themselves have been through something similar. We aim to provide a safe space for tonight’s topic “what I wish I knew” in the hope that this will generate some useful discussion and provide contributors with the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences and possibly even take away some new ideas, tips and strategies for new parenthood.
13-11-2018 07:05 PM
Hello everyone. My name is Elke and I’m here tonight to share with you my experience in overcoming the intense feelings of overwhelm and frustration that came up for me after the birth of my son 7 years ago.
I fell pregnant while single and the father was not involved from the outset. This meant going through pregnancy, childbirth and new parenthood solo. I was incredibly fortunate to have the love and well-meaning support of numerous friends and family, however the weight of personal responsibility for a completely dependent human, paired with a sense of isolation was intensely felt and I struggled through anxiety and self-loathing. The loss of control and a sense of my own identity meant that the transition to parenthood was often unenjoyable and I longed to be one of those mothers who had it all together. I wish I knew then that, far from being alone in my experience, I was one of many and that not coping does not equate to failing. I’m looking forward to hearing from you all this evening and discussing with you some of the very real experiences that are frequently encompassed within the perinatal journey.
13-11-2018 07:09 PM
Hi everyone, my name is Kerri. I am here tonight to share with you my story of how Post-Natal Depression and Anxiety impacted me after the birth of my son 11 years ago. I was unprepared for a child as I had only been with his father for 3 months but proceeded any way with his support and became excited at the prospect, but what I didn’t know was the birth was not going to go to plan. I required a c-section after which I felt robbed by not being able to have a normal birth. I struggled with the pain from the c-section. I felt pressured and unsupported by the nurses to breastfeed, and on top of that, my son was re-admitted to Hospital with Encephalitis caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. I found myself crying constantly, and I felt fearful and isolated. My anxiety was through the roof and I was not able to sleep or eat. Luckily I was provided with support through my GP who referred me to some counselling to make sense of what I had experienced. I gradually learnt to take control of my anxiety. What I wish I knew was that you can make plans for parenthood, but you can’t necessarily control everything that happens during pregnancy, birth and beyond. There is a level of acceptance that is hard to accept!
What surprised me was the sense of grief and loss, particularly around the difference between expectation vs reality. What were your big ‘expectation does not match the reality’ moments?
13-11-2018 07:15 PM
13-11-2018 07:17 PM
Sorry. Should add that baby is now 23 yrs old and still struggles at times with sleep.
13-11-2018 07:17 PM
13-11-2018 07:18 PM
13-11-2018 07:18 PM
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