Postnatal illness (PNI) is a nasty, horrible and invasive chameleon that gets it’s little feet into you. I call it a chameleon because it adapts, changes and mutates to fit you. Almost to the point where there doesn’t feel to be any commonality with anyone else. It eats away at your confidence, feeds on your joy and can often destroy your relationship with the people around you. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the way it can affect the relationship you have with your child.
Okay so you’re worried about your friend, sibling, cousin, neighbour…..that’s good. Why? Because it means you’re paying attention and that you’ve taken the first step in getting to the bottom of the problem. Because you’ve noted that there is a problem, even if no one else had.
It feels like a shameful thing to admit that you can’t cope as a parent, especially if it’s not your first child! What makes this one any different from the last? And if it’s your first baby, it can put you off having more because, well, who’d put themselves through the potential of that happening again? But what about those people around you? And what if you don’t know your ill? I didn’t.
Also note, I am not just talking to the ladies here; no, no! Men can be affected by postnatal illness too. So let’s not get all stereotype-y on each other and just think this is a “lady problem”. It certainly is not!
And for those of you who like figures, 1 in 7 women and 1 in 10 men can get post-baby crazy, just like I did – and, looking back now, I’m fairly sure my hubby did too.
You’ve noticed. Step 1 in the bag! I said at the top there that this damn illness is a chameleon and can look different on different people. That’s true. But there are a few core things that might start to show themselves and these are the things that you’ve noticed.
Something a little off? Someone not quite the same as they were pre-tiny-human? And remember they’re going to be tired and different in some ways because they have a helpless person to look after. But something else? Things you might notice:
- A sudden or new indifference or anger towards a partner, friend, new baby or other children
- A lack of joy in their being – something fundamentally different about the way they are (and not just exhaustion!)
- Acting unusually, making decisions that surprise you or are different from how you predict that person might have behaved
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It’s all free, and you never know; you might just find it helps someone, somewhere, to love themselves and get through the other side.
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- identify the signs of Postnatal Illness
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- help them understand and recover
- help them without upsetting them
You can read more in the eBook, WTF – The Real Story.
This is my story; written to help others come to terms with and beat this horrible illness!