Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Awareness (PANDA) Week was established by PANDA in 2005 to increase the community’s understanding of perinatal mental illness and to reduce stigma. The theme for PANDA Week 2018 is ‘I Wish I Knew’ is the theme for, because many expecting and new parents are blind-sided by the realities of becoming parents. Looking back, many feel that if they had known more and been better able to prepare for some of the challenges that come with being parents, they might have been better able to cope. PANDA will be sharing real ‘I wish I knew’ stories and information to show that this illness is complex and every person’s experience is different. Just as importantly, that it is temporary and treatable. PANDA will also be launching a new online mental checklist for expecting and new parents to assess their emotional and mental health and speak to their health professionals about it. For more information about perinatal anxiety and depression, or to speak with Rosalind about challenges you may be experiencing as a parent, make contact here....

What is Perinatal Depression? These days, we typically refer to the term Perinatal Depression rather than ‘Postnatal’, as many mothers find themselves struggling in the antenatal period, or the period before the baby is born. Difficulties coping can occur after the baby is born, or throughout the entire period. Symptoms of Perinatal Depression Some mothers feel very anxious and agitated, full of worry and concern about their baby’s health, weight, or perhaps the quality of their own mothering. Others become unable to sleep and quickly become more and more exhausted. Many just do not feel as though they are coping. Some mothers may become socially isolated. Partners or family members may work long hours and there seems to be a lot of time spent just with a baby. Relationships may suffer as the demands of mothering infants take precedence over many other relationships. People may be on a shorter fuse as fatigue and feeling overwhelmed makes them more reactive. There is a lot to adjust to. No matter how rewarding people find this stage of life, it can become really stressful. Perinatal depression is a common struggle and is different for all who experience it and for some, it can be very severe. Sometimes things...