Social media fuelling anxiety, perinatal depression for new mums, experts warn
New mums are bombarded with social media images of the “perfect family” and it’s leading to increased anxiety and perinatal depression, experts are warning.
Research by the national perinatal depression helpline PANDA has also found more than half of mums with the illness are waiting at least a month to seek help, and one in 10 callers to the service are at serious risk of self-harm or suicide.
Renee Knight was among those who fell into depression when life as a new mum didn’t turn out how she had hoped.
“We’re bombarded in society,” she told News Breakfast of the social media pressures.
Renee gave birth to Hamish in February last year and within a few weeks was struggling to cope with the changes.
When he wasn’t sleeping well she became angry with him and then became angry that she didn’t feel like herself anymore.
Renee began to think something was going wrong when she realised she was scared to be with Hamish.
“I would see all these pictures on TV about what it was like having a baby and hear from other mums and I didn’t feel like that at all,” she said.
“I thought, ‘surely this isn’t right, surely other people feel different’.”
When things deteriorated, Renee ended up in the emergency department and within a couple of days was in a mother-baby unit, where she spent the next nine weeks.