We are very grateful for all of those people who took time to send us feedback. A common theme is that you liked to read others' stories. Some of you enclosed your stories. For this reason we have included some of these to help give understanding and encouragement.
Mother, “I found this site really helpful. Reading other stories was great, it makes me understand a bit more about what's happening with me.”
Debbie, “At the time I had PND, I really didn't think I would get better. Now looking back, all I needed was stories like the ones you have on your site to help me see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
Jen, “Thank you for this site, my GP gave it to me when diagnosed with PND. I have found it fantastic to refer back and forward to as I have got better. I also found it really good to give the site address to my mum and friends to refer to and to have an understanding of how I feel. It’s amazing once everything is out in the open how much support you get.”
Mother, “Very useful site with relevant up to date information, presented in a clear manner, not condescending or demeaning. Good to read some stories of women who have experienced depression in some way.”
Health professional, “Fantastic website. Great range of information with something for everyone. Excellent information combining helpful links in a way that is human, respectful and accessible. Will recommend.”
Mother, “Firstly congratulations on a great website. As a mother of two I got PND with my second child. I felt very isolated and websites like this helped alot. Can I please suggest you put more "real life stories" on your site. It is these stories that inspire me the most and made me realise there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am still recovering from PND. In saying that I feel 100% but am still to come off the medication which I am in no hurry to do.”
Mother, “I had severe postnatal depression with my second baby 31 years ago, and like Jenny Shipley I had to 'dig deep' to get through it as there was very little known about PND back then. I have often thought over the years that I have a lot to share that could help other women, as there IS a bright light at the end of the tunnel - something you so need to believe in when you are in that dreadful place. How I wish there had been a place like this to visit 30 odd years ago!! I trawled the library shelves seeking answers!”
Mother, “As a mother of three who has had severe PND, thanks for this informative site! I've enjoyed reading the stories and would like to include mine one day, to encourage others.”
Mother, “This kind of website needs to be advertised heaps, I am normally a very in control person, when I tell people I had post natal depression they normally say "no way - you!". But without my very loving husband, I would not have survived. Sleep deprivation has a lot to answer for! Best advice - talk about it, then talk about it more....then talk about it again....to everyone, the more you say it out loud the easier it is to handle. My little girl is perfect and I am very lucky to have her. I have a degree in Psychology, majoring in mental illnesses and developmental issues, but it got me, and I had to work through it, now I want to tell more people so they feel it’s ok to 'not be coping'.”
Mother, “What a wonderful site! I'm so glad this exists now for mothers who have this illness. I did after my wonderful daughter, who is 26 months now, was born. It took a lot to persuade me to admit that something was wrong and to get help.
My midwife first recognised it. And the woman at the Waikato Family Centre saved my life.
And Jenny Shipley is wonderful for coming to the fore on this. I hope that women with PND will look at her and go "She's not a nutter, but she was ill. That applies to me too. Anyone can get ill."
Mother, “I wish there had been something like your site in 1977 when I had my first child. I felt so alone with her. My husband didn't want a baby, but he gradually come to love her. It just felt so awful. I'd say to her, Darling, I'm just an amateur mother. My plunket nurse got me through those first 6 weeks, but I couldn't even tell her how awful I was feeling.”
“I am a psychologist working in maternal mental health and am shocked that I have not come across this website before today! I just wanted to let you know that I'm really impressed with the site, I think it's a great resource and I'll definitely be recommending it to all my clients from now on!”
Mother, “The website is brilliantly put together and has completely relevant, useful and well pitched information, not only for PND but other related conditions. I have been diagnosed as having Bipolar disorder for 20 years and have been though PMH's Mothers and Babies Unit myself 15 years ago. I still find the information informative, even though it is also so familiar. All the stories are great reminders of symptoms to keep looking out for. Some thoughts and behaviours can feel somewhat "normal" over such a long time of dealing with them!”
Mother, “This website is great but does not recognise that PND may only fully present itself as in my case when a mother who has recently had a baby returns to work. May be this means the signs should have been recognised earlier by a GP but, this may not be straight after the birth which is the only way it is covered in the antenatal classes.
The stress of the baby may have been acceptable but adding into working full time and running and house etc. was enough to push me over the edge. After my first baby I did have issues, but coped despite really bad back pain which I now see as a real warning sign. I went back to work when my son was 8 months old and pretty much muddled through for a year of work when I then went on leave to have my daughter.
I had a few episodes of not coping but got to 9 months, added to stress by moving house, doubling the mortgage and going back to work. Not just my old job but my dream job with considerable responsibility. We got through but after about 6 months of working with 2 children in day care, looking after the house I wasn't sleeping, wanted to leave and walk away from it all. I had also suffered since the birth of my second child (now 18 months) with chronic sinusutis and throat infections. Bronchitis bordering on Pneumonia in the middle of a hot summer was the final straw for me.
Luckily a GP picked up that PND may be a factor. It all seemed to fall into place, my husband realised this was likely as well. The medication for 6 months got me through a massive transition and lifestyle change. I resigned from my $100k job, we moved house to reduce all our stress and I am now a stay at home mum to 2 beautiful children.
My only concern now is that I am 24 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and wonder how it will all go. The midwife is aware of my history though and we have been discussing what to do. I have decided not to breastfeed as this will remove one area of considerable stress for both my other babies. Will consider taking medication after the birth to get through the first few months as well as possible.”