A Christchurch postnatal depression survivor and psychologist have teamed up to write a book on postnatal depression which is due to be released this month.

Postpartum depression and anxiety: The definitive survival and recovery approach, will be sold in NZ, the UK and the US.

In it, Sonya Watson shares her struggles, while Kathryn Whitehead provides information on perinatal depression and anxiety (PNAD) as well as a self-help approach to the condition.

PNAD affects about one in five women. Suicide is the leading indirect cause of maternal death in New Zealand. It is seven times more common here than in the UK.

Watson said she had a strong sense of responsibility as a parent to look after Jack, but did not feel love for him until he was about one.

“People need to know it’s normal to feel vulnerable when becoming parents and it’s OK to ask for help”

Read the full article via stuff here



* The year after having a baby, a woman is more at risk of becoming mentally unwell than at any other time in her life.
* Depression, anxiety and psychosis can affect pregnant women and mums and dads for several years after the birth.
* About 15 per cent of women and 10 per cent of men experience postnatal depression.
* Risk factors include lack of social support, history of abuse or domestic violence and history of mental illness.
If someone experiences some of the following symptoms for at least two weeks, they could have PNAD:
* Tearfulness
* Lack of enjoyment, motivation and sex drive
* Disruption in sleep and appetite
* Wanting to die
* Compulsive thoughts and actions
* Panic attacks
* Constant worry


We’ve provided a number of resources written by parents to help other parents through their neonatal journey.   These can help you bond with your baby, help with the stress of the journey, and support your partner:

You can find our other support PDF’s available for viewing here

If you believe you or your partner are affected by PNAD, please contact the health providers listed at the end of the article.