It’s not an unfamiliar story.
New South Wales Premier Mike Baird didn’t notice the signs of postnatal depression because he was too busy working.
Now he wants other new parents to look out for their partners and pay attention to the warning signs.
“My priorities were wrong. I was caught in my career and I think that’s one of the challenges we have: What’s really important in life?” Baird told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“At that stage I was invested in my career. I wanted to progress and everything I was doing was the most important… I missed the signs. I didn’t take the time to try and understand what was wrong with the love of my life, being my wife.”
He said he didn’t ask questions, and he should have.
“I didn’t sort of think anything beyond ‘why on earth is Kerryn calling during the day just sort of crying her eyes out? Why, when I come home at night, it looks like nothing has happened in the house all day?’,” he said.
“I should have started asking questions and I think because I was so absorbed in myself that I let her and I let my daughter down.”
The Bairds, who have three children, Laura, Cate and Luke, spoke candidly about their experience at a Gidget Foundation lunch to raise awareness about perinatal anxiety and depression.
Kerryn Baird said she struggled with the condition mentally and physically after the birth of their first child.
“It’s very heavy. Everything you do and everything you see just almost has a grey heavy tinge to it so physically it’s difficult to do things, it’s difficult to get up,” Mrs Baird said.
“Just even in decision making processes, you’ve got to work that much harder.”
She described it as a “black heavy cloud” and said the first step towards regaining control was to seek support.