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Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression is an illness and not a reflection of you as a mother or as a
woman.
Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after
having a baby.
It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of
giving birth. It can also affect fathers and partners.
It’s important to seek help as soon as possible if you think you might be depressed,
as your symptoms could last months or get worse and have a significant impact on
you, your baby and your family.
With the right support, which can include self-help strategies and therapy, most
women make a full recovery.
• feeling of sadness and low mood that won’t go away
• lost interest in life and you’re not enjoying the things you used to
• problems sleeping, such as having trouble getting back to sleep after caring
for your baby at night, even when the baby is asleep and you’re feeling
exhausted
• difficulty concentrating and making decisions
• low self-confidence
• poor appetite (not eating enough)
• feeling very agitated or, alternatively, you can’t be bothered with anything
(apathy)
• feelings of guilt and self-blame
• thinking about, and even planning, suicide.
We NHS professionals understand a new baby is a life-changing experience, meet a
dedicated team of highly skilled mental health nurses, psychologists and doctors, we
want to listen to your story, we want to support you.
Self help-Things you can try yourself include talking to your family and friends about
your feelings and what they can do to help, making time for yourself to do things you
enjoy, resting whenever you get the chance, getting as much sleep as you can at
night, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet
Psychological therapy-a GP may be able to recommend a self-help course or may
refer you for a course of therapy, such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Medication Antidepressants – these may be recommended if your depression is
more severe or other treatments have not helped; your doctor can prescribe a
medicine that’s safe to take while breastfeeding
Myths
Postnatal depression is less severe than other types of depression – in fact,
it’s as serious as other types of depression
Postnatal depression is entirely caused by hormonal changes – it’s actually
caused by many different factors
Postnatal depression will soon pass – unlike the “baby blues”, postnatal
depression can persist for months if left untreated and in a minority of cases it
can become a long-term problem.
Postnatal depression only affects women – research has actually found that
up to 1 in 10 new fathers become depressed after having a baby
Information
PANDAS provides telephone support, online information and local support groups for
pregnancy depression and postnatal depression.
APNI (Association for Postnatal Illness) provides telephone support and online
information on postnatal depression.
MIND is a mental health charity providing information, support, local groups and an
online chatroom
Local support groups may also be available. Check out what’s on offer
at Netmums or ask your GP. You can also chat to other new mums suffering from
the baby blues, PND, PTSD and more in BabyCentre’s friendly support group