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Ever since I gave birth I can’t make decisions, help!


Advice Q & A with Melissa Hughes

Perinatal Psychotherapist

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The Q

Since the birth of my son a year ago, I don’t seem to be able make decisions. I struggle with the simplest things such as what to wear each day, what to buy from the supermarket, or which doctor to go to.  I also walk in to a room and forget why I’m there. The big decisions don’t even get a look in.  I go to yoga once a week to try to relax and clear my mind, but it doesn’t help. I feel overwhelmed and fear that I’m losing my mind and my abilities.


The A

Many women experience periods of forgetfulness or overwhelm during the post-natal period. This is to be expected with the lack of sleep and the increased demands on your body.

It may be of interest to know that many of the diagnostic symptoms the medical profession use to diagnose post-natal depression are also found in the symptoms of sleep deprivation.

As sleep returns slowly, so will your mind. As life gets some structure back into it, so too will your decision-making ability return. Many, many new mothers feel as though they are living in suspended animation. You are definitely not alone, and though it may seem like it will be this way forever I assure you it will not.

Of course one of the best ways to achieve some relief is to talk about the way you feel with a specialized professional. To take one hour of the week for yourself is incredibly therapeutic. And with all the work you are doing at the moment, you deserve it!

Photo credit: brookeshaden


Advice Q & A with Melissa Hughes. Ask Melissa a question.

Melissa is the Director of Baby and Beyond Parental Counselling. She specialises in prenatal and postnatal counselling: covering issues such as transition to parenting, successfully managing maternity leave, support through postnatal anxiety/depression, antenatal anxiety/depression and relationship issues. Melissa has lectured at Universities across Sydney and contributed as an expert in parenting and relationship articles as well as writing for magazines. Her work in group therapy for postnatal depression was recognised by the Centre for Leadership for Women in 2009 and she continues to facilitate groups on a weekly basis.


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