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Being a parent can be an exciting and rewarding time for families. Parents can experience a wide range of emotions from happiness and excitement to stress and worry.

For mums the physical, psychological and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy and following birth  can significantly affect how you think and feel. Most women will experience some ups and downs, which is very normal, but for some women this happens more frequently and they may start to feel like they're having more bad days than good. Some women may also find adjusting to being a parent very different to what they expected ( no matter how prepared they felt beforehand). Some mums may also struggle processing the birth experience and the difference between this and what they had expected.

For dads too, becoming a parent can be equally as challenging and many fathers may also notice changes in how they think and feel.

Becoming a parent can feel isolating and you may think you are the only person struggling with these feelings. The important thing to know is you are not alone and help is available

Anxiety and Depression in Early Parenthood and Pregnancy

If you or your partner find you are having more bad days than good, where you are feeling sad, worried and overwhelmed and are no longer enjoying things as much as you used to please call or make an appointment to see your Child and Family Health Nurse.

Child and Family Health Nurses offer screening for postnatal depression and anxiety throughout the first year of your baby's life at the 6-8 week check and the 6-8 month check and at other times when needed.

 We are able to offer you follow up via review appointments at the Child and Family Health Centre as well as telephone support. We are also able to discuss referral options to psychologists or other health care professionals if needed. 

A Perinatal Psychologist is available through the Family Care Centre at Hornsby for counselling and support focussed on:

  • Parent infant relationships
  • Managing parental anxiety and depression
  • Understanding infant behaviour
  • Adjusting to parenting

The referrals for the psychologist at the Family Care Centre are made through the Child and Family Health Nurses.

There are many resources available to help support  parents.

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If you are having suicidal thoughts or of harming yourself or baby please tell a person you trust and seek emergency assistance by calling  000, The Mental Health Line 1800 011 511 or go to your nearest hospital emergency department.