Having a new baby can be a beautiful, but sometimes also a very stressful and scary time. Your whole life changes in an instant, and that can feel quite overwhelming. Some parents might experience ‘baby blues’ or even stronger, postnatal depression. This can be really tough on the whole family as well as the newborn baby. Luckily there are many ways to find help in these difficult times. Besides mental health professionals, having a maternity nurse can really make a big difference too.
So how can a Maternity Nurse help with postnatal depression?
What is Postnatal Depression?
Firstly, let’s have a look at what postnatal depression really is. This NHS website describes it as “a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners.”
They also indicate that it is normal to have the ‘baby blues‘ which can last up to two weeks. This happens to so many new mothers, the NHS considers this normal. However, if your symptoms last longer than these two weeks or if it starts later, there might be a case of postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression can not only affect the mother, but also the other parent, the (newborn) baby, and the whole family life. It can be an extremely challenging time for everyone involved and asking for professional help can be a really important step to get through this. In the UK, the NHS advice is to speak to your GP or to your health visitor. Many health visitors, as well as many Maternity Nurses, are trained to recognize postnatal depression and can, therefore, be key in helping you and your family.
How can a Maternity Nurse help?
As briefly mentioned above, many Maternity Nurses are especially training in recognizing early symptoms of postnatal depression. If you have decided to hire a Maternity Nurse, they are likely to spend a lot of time with you and your family in your house. Many Maternity Nurses live in with you for a period of time – that can be anything from a couple of days to several months. They really get to know you, your family and your baby. They will also see and emotional or behavioural changes happening. But besides the fact of being with and around you a lot, they are specially trained to look out for signs.
And having someone to spot signs early can be crucial in the recovery for you and your family. The sooner you are diagnosed with postnatal depression, the earlier professional help can come and the quicker you can feel better, and like yourself again.
Provide Structure & Support
In a time of postnatal depression, when the whole world might feel like it is crumbling around you – a Maternity Nurse will provide much-needed structure and routine. Not just for your baby, but for you and the whole family too. The Maternity Nurse is literally there to help out with anything baby and family-related. Making sure the baby is getting fed in time? Making sure the baby is getting cleaned, changed, washed and sleeping? All of these things your Maternity Nurse will be right at hand to do for you.
And especially at times when all you might feel like is laying in bed, the Maternity Nurse will be there to continue the routine that you might not be able to provide at all times.
Maternity Nurses also do night shifts – so if you are in absolute need of a full night’s sleep the Maternity Nurse is there at hand to sort everything out that needs doing during the night. Often a Maternity Nurse will sleep in the same room as the baby so they can be there straight away if the baby needs anything at all. Giving you as must peace and quiet, and rest, as you need and to help you in a time of postnatal depression when you need it most.
Teach you skills
Being a new parent is tough on everyone! No one really knows what to do at first and everything can be daunting. Add a postnatal depression or baby blues to that and it can feel completely impossible to get through your day. But the point of a Maternity Nurse is to support you through the first weeks (or months) with your newborn – but to also teach you everything you need to know about being a new parent!
Maternity Nurses will have years of experience, and expertise training qualifications, to teach you everything from how to breast or bottle-feed, change nappies, and give your baby a bath. But they will also be able to do night shifts for you giving you a much needed night’s sleep. They will be able to see if your baby is developing well and keep an eye on any issues that might be developing. They can teach you and your baby how to set up a sleep schedule so that your baby will be able to sleep well and structured by the time the Maternity Nurse leaves.
Having all this structure and support can make an enormous difference in your well being. It can really positively contribute to your well being. You are being supported and guided on how to deal with this new situation, and that can really be an invaluable experience.
Please know, having postnatal depression does not mean you are a bad parent. It can happen to everyone and a wide range of help and support is available. Support and treatments can be really effective for you and your family. And amongst other things, a Maternity Nurse can really be a big help.
How can Polo & Tweed Help?
Polo & Tweed work with families all over the world, finding the most suitable Maternity Nurses for them and for their situation. Polo & Tweed have a wide variety of amazing Maternity Nurses on their books ready to come help you and your family. Whether this is for a couple of days, or several months, we can find the right person for you. To find out more about what options work best for you do contact us here now and we look forward to speak to you!