It’s Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week this week from 12th to 18th November 2017. Established by not-for-profit organization PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) in 2005, this campaign aims to raise awareness about the anxiety, depression, and stress expecting and new parents, especially mums, are struggling with. One in 5 mums and 1 in 10 dads experience this common yet potentially serious illness. And they are encouraged to seek help if they need it.
While it is quite normal to experience mood swings during pregnancy and the early months of parenthood, it is important that you are aware of, and acknowledge the signs and symptoms of, depression and anxiety. Here they are:
- Low mood and loss of interest in the things you previously enjoyed doing
- Irritability or anger
- Feeling too fearful of what’s going to happen that it starts to affect your daily tasks
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having a hard time falling asleep or desire to sleep for long hours
- Changes in eating patterns (loss of appetite or food binging)
- Social isolation
- Muscle tension
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of self-pity and low self-worth
- Having thoughts of self-harm
Think you’re experiencing some or all of these symptoms? There are numerous ways to cope and beat depression and anxiety. Yoga is a wonderful way to lift your mood and clear the ‘brain fog’. Our classes are designed to help you take away pregnancy pains, prepare for birth and motherhood, and connect with other mums-to-be. We help you stay active, happy, and physically and mentally healthy!
Next year Mother Nurture Yoga will be hosting a “Lunch Out Loud” fundraising event to support PANDA (date tbc). The purpose of the event is to encourage pregnant women and new mums and dads to talk ‘Out Loud’ and to have open and honest conversations about the joys and challenges of parenthood.
Funds raised from Lunch Out Loud will support PANDA, which offers counselling through its free National Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Helpline (1300 726 306, Mon-Fri 10am-5pm EST) and provides information and referral services with ongoing telephone support for families throughout Australia.
For more information please visit PANDA’s website here or if you’re pregnant and feel you’re suffering from mental illness, call their helpline on 1300 726 306.