Postnatal depression 'is grieving for your old self'

THE loss of identity a woman feels after having a baby is so strong it can feel like they have suffered a bereavement, researchers say.

Losing their financial independence, work status and freedom has such as profound effect that they can find themselves grieving for their former self, a conference in Falkirk is due to hear tomorrow. Melanie Clarke and Dr Cynthia McVey, from Glasgow Caledonian University, said that the pressures of modern life had led to rising rates of postnatal depression as women felt they had to "have it all".

It is estimated between 10 and 28 per cent of women will suffer postnatal depression. The British Psychological Society conference will hear that rates of postnatal depression could be reduced if this "bereavement" for the loss of their old self was considered a natural reaction which most will experience.

Mrs Clarke and Dr McVey interviewed new mothers with a history of postnatal depression. The women reported a feeling of being "lost". They had problems because of unrealistic expectations about childbirth and motherhood and because they had lost sight of the person they used to be.

Source - Scotsman

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