Understanding Women With Postnatal Depression

According to Beyond Blue, 1 in 7/8 women will experience postnatal depression (PND). It’s far more significant than baby blues, which occurs in 8-9/10 women. For women experiencing this, it can be a very difficult, traumatic time. Instead of being overjoyed with the birth of their new child, which many anticipated, they often feel very sad, emotional and alone. Unless you have experienced it yourself or perhaps have someone close to you that has, it can be very challenging to understand.

At first, you may not know your loved one is experiencing PND. Chances are she doesn’t either. Even though there is clearly something wrong, some women will refuse to go to the doctor. It can be very hard for some new mums to admit they aren’t coping. Some see other mothers coping and may feel inadequate because they feel totally overwhelmed. This is natural, particularly with first time mums. Unfortunately, culture dictates that women are natural nurtures and many new mums don’t realise it can take time to grow into this role.

When you think of the pressure society puts on new mums, plus the pressure they place on themselves, no wonder some new mums feel overwhelmed and disillusioned. Not only has a massive change occurred in their life but many new mums are often chronically sleep deprived, have trouble breast feeding, lack support at home, gone from working and being surrounded by people, to being left alone day after day with a new baby.

When you think about it, every aspect of their life changed the moment the baby was born. We now know that mental illness does have a genetic component and therefore, some people maybe more susceptible than others. For those at risk of suffering anxiety or depression, this combination of changes maybe the time these conditions present themselves.

The most important thing to remember, no matter what sort of relationship you have with someone with PND, is that it is a recognised mental health issue which they are experiencing. They are not going out of their way to be over emotional, be on the verge of tears, withdraw from those they love or push them away. They are not neglecting their appearance or house work on purpose. They are probably putting all the energy they do have, into looking after their baby. As hurtful as it is, they may not have time for you as they struggle to survive.

This is possibly why this condition is so isolating. Many women with PND will try to cope in their own way, by themselves, in the privacy of their own home. The best advice is to be patient. Hopefully the new mum will go to the doctor to seek help and shorten the duration of the condition. If either your loved one or yourself are looking for support for PND, please check out the list below for available resources.

BeyondBlue – 24/7 

1300 22 4636

PANDA – 10am -5pm (AEST)

1300 726 306

Black Dog Institute – Comprehensive Australian & State reference list

By Kim Chartres

Would You Eat Your Own Placenta In A Pill?

Would you pop a pill post-baby, which promises to increase your energy and breast-milk production and decrease your likelihood of developing baby blues and postnatal depressionBut what about if that pill was actually your placenta, which had been lightly steamed with herbs, sliced wafer thin, dried and prepared for encapsulation? If you still answered yes, you’re not alone – a new Queensland business was set up in 2013 to cater to the increasing numbers of women who want to consume their placentas in pill form after they’ve had a baby.

Mt Coolum couple Natalie Stokell, 37, a massage therapist, and Pete Ansell, 40, a chef, cooked up the idea for the business thanks to a placenta smoothie he made following the birth of their first daughter Skyla, 5. A vegetarian, Ms Stokell found it hard to digest. Placenta Vitality was then born after the healthy delivery of the couple’s second daughter Star, 20 months, when Mr Ansell perfected drying and encapsulating Ms Stokell’s placenta in pill form. She then reaped the rewards, she says.

“The tablets really totally help women post-partum, but people can also take them as a treatment for menopause,” Ms Stokell says. “My hormones were on a very even keel after taking the tablets and it helped my energy levels and breast-milk production. A couple of weeks in, post-birth, I was very emotional. Pete said: ‘Have you had your tablets today?’ and I hadn’t. I thought ‘Wow, this really works!’”

Cost is $250, with Placenta Vitality picking up placentas 24-48 hours post-birth and dropping off 120-150 capsules (depending on the size) shortly thereafter, following the steaming and drying process. New mums then pop six pills a day for up to two weeks post-partum. And business is booming. “We’re getting a lot of word-of-mouth – friends referring friends,” Ms Stokell says. “We know a few midwives too.

“It feels like such a wonderful thing to be doing. Placentas are an amazing organ and it’s so lovely to be helping new mothers. It’s a privilege – that which nourishes the baby can then nourish the mother. A lot more people would pop a placenta pill if they knew about it.”

However, the science on the practice is sketchy at best. Leading obstetricians have disputed the baby blues and postnatal depression theory, stating there is no medical benefit to eating your placenta. Yet human placenta has also been used as an ingredient in some traditional Chinese medicines to treat infertility, impotence and more.
As always, we women will make up our own minds, thank you very much.

The facts

  • Placentophagy is the act of mammals eating the placenta of their young after childbirth.
  • Most placental mammals participate in placentophagy, including herbivores.
  • When you have a baby, your midwife will ask you if you want to keep your placenta. Hospital placenta storage procedures vary.

Would you eat your own placenta in a pill?

For more information, visit

Image via Placenta Vitality

By Nicole Carrington-Sima

Win a brand new Hyundai
Win 10K cash