Support and treatment options
Caring for a new baby is hard work – fact. There’s nothing wrong with getting some extra support, and you’ve got a whole team of people on hand to help you.
Support from health professionals
If you’ve been seeing a midwife during pregnancy and/or a maternal and child health nurse after the birth, they’re a good place to start. As well as providing practical support and advice about stuff like feeding, sleep and child development, they can help you work out if what you’re going through suggests you may have a mental health condition. If you need further assessment or treatment, they can refer you to a GP or mental health professional.
Talking things through with your GP can also be a useful initial step. They can assess your overall health and wellbeing, make a diagnosis and either provide continuing treatment or refer you to a mental health specialist, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. Your GP can also work with you to draw up a Mental Health Treatment Plan so you can get a Medicare rebate for psychological treatment.
Try and be as open and honest as possible about how you're feeling and what's going on. Ask plenty of questions and make sure you get clarification on anything you’re not sure about.
Types of treatment
Mental health conditions can be treated effectively, and just like physical conditions, they can be managed. It’s important to seek support as early as you can, as perinatal mental health conditions generally don’t go away on their own.
Most people with anxiety or depression benefit from one or a combination of the following:
You are your baby’s most important asset, and an asset that should be looked after — caring for yourself is as important as caring for your baby.
The most important thing is to talk to a health professional about getting the right treatment. Remember, the faster you get support, the faster you can get back to enjoying life with your family.