ABC Radio National 'I've just had a baby, why do I feel so bad?'


Becoming a new parent can be both a time of great joy and great fragility. Not just the care of a tiny vulnerable being, but having to adapt both mentally and emotionally to a whole new family and relationship dynamic.

PANDA's CEO Terri Smith and Community Champion Rebecca, speaks with ABC RN Life Matters about the signs and symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression.

Rebecca shares her feelings and fears after having her first baby, and hit affected her life.Capture.JPG

Full interview can be found on ABC RN's website >

Love can get complicated, even on Valentine’s Day


Over half of callers to PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline distressed by changes and challenges in their relationship with their partner.

All over Australia, couples are looking forward to celebrating their love for one another on Valentine’s Day. However, there’s also a more sombre side of love, romance and relationships.

“Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate romantic love,” says Terri Smith, CEO of PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia. “However it’s also a time to reflect that an illness like perinatal anxiety and depression can test the bonds of love, and can put real pressures on relationships.”

View full media release.

What happens if I don’t feel joy, peace and happiness during the holiday season?

Christmas and holiday periods come with a whole lot of expectation (a bit like early parenthood): family and friends, celebrating together, wishing the best for each other, sharing food, gifts, laughter and companionship. The reality is often nothing like this and the higher your expectations the more disappointment you might feel.

For those who are spending time with family, past hurts can return and old wounds open. For others, being immersed in apparent ‘joy’ can increase loneliness and isolation… with the pressure to ‘be happy’ contributing to anxiety.

If you do have commitments that you need to keep, it is worth asking the question: ”How can I best meet my obligations while also prioritising my own wellbeing?”. “How do I protect myself from unnecessary hurt?” and “What do we need as a family to limit stress and enjoy this time as we are? As a mum or dad you and your child’s wellbeing are directly linked. This could be the year you give yourself permission to do something different and create new memories and traditions that work for you.

If you would like to talk through some strategies for managing your mental health during this busy holiday period our Helpline will be open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm, excluding public holidays.

Wishing you a peaceful festive season.

New research into perinatal depression and anxiety reveals alarming confusion in the community

Media Release 14/11/16

New research has revealed vast gaps in the public's understanding of perinatal anxiety and depression, which is preventing new mums and dads from seeking timely help, Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA) says.

Figures released ahead of next week’s Perinatal Depression and Anxiety (PNDA) Awareness Week (13-19 Nov) uncover that the Australian public believes there is little or no stigma attached to perinatal depression and anxiety – however, the perception of ‘what people think’ remains an enormous hurdle for new parents who are struggling.

Alarmingly, PANDA CEO Terri Smith said the figures suggesting a public acceptance of perinatal depression and anxiety are not reflected in the feelings of the majority of callers to PANDA’s National Helpline.

“The majority of callers report that they feel shame about their condition – a feeling that is compounded by the idea that they are not meeting their own expectations as a mother,” she said.

Annual data from PANDA’s National Helpline identifies that nearly 60% of callers are affected by the feeling of not meeting their own expectations as a parent.

View full media release. 

Lunch out Loud to support those with Perinatal Anxiety and Depression

Media Release. 10/10/16

Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) is launching a new initiative to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing support of expecting and new mums and dads suffering from anxiety and depression.

Members of the community are being encouraged to organise a PANDA Lunch Out Loud event in the lead up to Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week in November, and to talk ‘Out Loud’ to have open and honest conversations about the joys and challenges of parenthood.

The funds raised from the initiative will help ensure PANDA can continue to raise awareness about perinatal anxiety and depression and help ensure women and men seek help early and don’t suffer any longer than they have to.

PANDA CEO Terri Smith says she hopes over 1,000 Lunch Out Loud events will be held across Australia this year in recognition of the mums, dads and families who are struggling or have struggled with perinatal anxiety and depression.

View full media release. 

While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.