‘Most mothers, indeed parents, describe the experience of having a child as magical. In fact, in the days after my first baby was born, a friend told me, “It’s a magical time, those first few days”. I remember repeating this to my husband wryly: we shook our heads and braced ourselves for another day.’
Perinatal depression (PND) is a serious condition that affects about one in ten new mothers (and fathers). In recent years, it has finally started to receive attention from medical professionals and the general public; what was once taboo to talk about is now discussed by movie stars and major newspapers, and new parents are looking for resources to help guide them through a difficult time. After the success of Olivia Spencer’s Sad Dad, a book on PND in fathers, FAB is proud to launch another title on the topic of PND: Bridget Hargreave’s Fine (Not Fine).
Like many expectant mothers, Bridget was excited to welcome her first child into the world. But once the (actually fairly traumatic) birth experience was over, she found it difficult to connect to her son and she was soon drowning in a feeling that everything was too much. The mundane but endless tasks of caring for a baby—feed, change nappy, put down for a nap, repeat—overwhelmed her. Recognising that this wasn’t the ‘normal’ new mother feeling, Bridget reached out quite early for help. Her doctor prescribed anti-depressants, which quickly took effect and helped Bridget feel able to cope with the demands of motherhood, and to really connect with her son and enjoy this new phase of her life. Despite her attempts to head it off when she had her second child, Bridget experienced PND a second time as well.
Bridget has put together a terrific resource for other new parents wondering what’s happening to them and what to do about it. She talked to new mothers experiencing PND, as well as health care professionals and charity workers who support those suffering from PND. Fine (Not Fine) covers a broad spectrum of experiences. It also looks at how different health care organisations respond to mothers who suffer from PND, and at the charities that are working hard to provide support for sufferers.
Whether you’re a new parent wondering how to cope with this frightening condition, or a health care professional looking for more insight into how your patients are feeling and what you can do to assist them, Fine (Not Fine) provides sympathetic, thoughtful advice.