If you’re a mother to a new born, ‘postnatal depression’ might be something that you are experiencing, but you have no knowledge about it. Here we explain what ‘postnatal depression’ is and how you can deal with it.
What is postnatal depression
Postnatal depression (PND) is sometimes confused with the baby blues. The baby blues are when you feel moody, weepy, tired or anxious during the first week after giving birth. These feelings will usually pass within a few days.
However, unlike the baby blues PND is unlikely to get better quickly without help. The sooner you recognize that you have PND, and get the support that you need, the less likely it is to become a severe or long-term problem.
How common is postnatal depression
According to research, one in eight mums seeks help from their GP for PND. So it is very common. There are also a percentage of women who do not know that they have PND.
You are more likely to be vulnerable to PND if you have challenges in your life such as money worries, or relationship problems.
Most mums have at least one of these feelings some of the time. It’s normal to have good days and bad days. But if you’re feeling these symptoms for prolonged periods of time and they don’t get better, you could have PND.Symptoms may differ from person to person, but here are the most common ones.
- Feeling sad or low
- Unable to enjoy anything
- Extremely tired, with no energy
- A sense of guilt
- Loss of appetite
What causes PND?
- You have been depressed before, or have had problems with your mental health, or were depressed during a previous pregnancy.
- You don’t have a supportive partner, or have no family or friends living nearby.
- You’re having money, housing, work or relationship problems.
- You had a difficult laborand health problems afterwards.
- Your baby was born prematurely, or is unwell.
- You are finding it difficult to breastfeed.
- Sad memories have been stirred up after your baby was born, such as the death of one of your parents.
Treatments for PND
- Meet your doctor or your midwife immediately. Explain what you’re feeling and get they’re help.
- Try to get lots of rest.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
- Meet other mums who are facing the same situation as you.
- Be kind to yourself.
- Get help from your partner or a family member.