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Sheila: sleep deprivation and PMADs

Sheila Duffy, Director of Pacific Post Partum Support Society, talks about how it is vital that new parents get enough sleep because sleep deprivation is a big risk factor for PPD/A/


There’s lots of risk factors. And contributing factors to post partum and probably at the very top of the list is sleep deprivation. And unfortunately it’s probably one of the hardest things to change, you know. If we know that we need a good night’s sleep and we have no idea how we’re going to make that happen that, that itself can cause anxiety. But certainly a lot of people find that, you know, they, they, well quite often we talk to people who have not had more than two hours of sleep in a row for months.

I know for me personally, by day two that made me crazy, you know, (slight laugh) like I, and most of us know that we need to have at least, you know, six to eight hours of sleep. Most new mums and dads are not getting that at all. So, you know, at the same time we’re all affected differently so for some people, you know, that’s going to make a huge, huge affect to how they’re feeling post partum and for other people maybe they always went with five hours or six hours of sleep.

But it’s really, like if we’re talking to people we will really be checking out all, how is their sleep and kind of really looking at and exploring how can we, how can we make it different. And even if you can get, you know, two nights a week where, where you have at least a four-hour stretch that, that can make a difference. So yeah, it’s a huge factor and, and really really important that it gets addressed if it’s, if it’s ongoing.