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What is PND?

by Tash Hughes of Word Constructions (

PND, or post natal depression, is becoming recognised as a problem, but many people don’t really know what it is.

Not all women with PND actually feel depressed, and many cases are milder than others so it is not always diagnosed.

Here are some facts about PND:

  • PND is an illness – the woman can’t choose to ‘snap out of it’
  • At least 14% of mothers experience PND
  • PND isn’t just a hormonal imbalance, although that may contribute
  • PND can occur in pregnancy (called AND), in adoptive parents, in Dads and after miscarriages and still births
  • Early detection and treatment has quicker results in easing the symptoms
  • Effective treatment includes biological, social and psychological aspects
  • Although more likely in a first baby, PND can appear for the first time with any baby
  • Subsequent pregnancies can compound PND if there isn’t enough of a gap in between
  • PND has been around for many years, although not called PND
  • High stress events and relationship issues during pregnancy increase likelihood of PND
  • 14% means that 25,000 to 50,000 Victorians are diagnosed with PND each year
  • PND affects women in all groups – age, economics, rural, urban, education, etc
  • It is thought that PND may be a major factor in relationship break down in young families
  • Women with PND need patience, support and understanding
  • PND will go away and there is life and happiness beyond PND
  • Partners of PND parents also need support and assistance
  • PND is called the ‘smiling disease’ as many women are expert at smiling and hiding their illness
  • PND will get better quicker if it is caught soon and treated appropriately
  • there are a lot of symptoms that are seen in people with PND - each person shows it differently so it can be hard to recognise it
  • Anxiety is a common feeling for PND patients - more common than actually feeling sad or depresssed


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