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Post Natal Depression

Postnatal depression is a type of depression some women experience after they have had a baby. It usually develops in the first four to six weeks after childbirth, although in some cases it may not develop for several months.

Postal natal depression can be caused by a number of factors such as:

  • The physical and emotional stress of looking after a new-born baby
  • Hormonal changes that occur shortly after pregnancy
  • Individual social circumstances such as money worries, poor social support or relationship problems

Women might be more at risk of developing post natal depression if they:

  • Have a previous history of depression or other mood disorders
  • Have a previous history of postnatal depression
  • Experience depression or anxiety during pregnancy

It is estimated around one-in-seven women experience some level of depression in the first three months after giving birth. There are many symptoms of postnatal depression.

Key symptoms are:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
  • Loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things that used to give pleasure
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time (fatigue)
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Difficulties with concentration and making decisions
  • Low self-confidence
  • Poor appetite or an increase in appetite ("comfort eating")
  • Feeling very agitated or alternatively very apathetic (can't be bothered)
  • Feelings of guilt and self-blame
  • Thinking about suicide and self-harming
  • Thoughts of harming the baby

Many women are not aware they have the condition. It is important for partners, family and friends to recognise signs of postnatal depression as early as possible and seek professional advice.

It's very important to understand that postnatal depression is an illness. Postnatal depression needs to be properly treated and isn't something you can just snap out of.

* The contents of this condition is for information purposes only.