What is Postnatal Depression

“Depression is such a cruel punishment. There are no fevers, no rashes, no blood tests to send people scurrying in concern, just the slow erosion of self, as insidious as cancer. And like cancer, it is essentially a solitary experience; a room in hell with only your name on the door” – Martha Manning

You’ve just had a baby and the world expects you to be delighted. It’s one of the happiest times of your life, isn’t it?

Postnatal Depression affects between 10 to 15 women in every 100!

Some women go through a brief period of feeling emotional and tearful; this is known as the ‘baby blues’.  It usually starts around 3-4 days after baby is born and affects around 85 per cent of new mums. It is so common that it is considered normal. Having the baby blues may be distressing but it is important to remember that it doesn’t last long, usually only a few days.

However, some new mothers develop a much deeper and longer-term depression known as postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within the first few weeks of giving birth and can come on gradually or all of a sudden and can range in severity.

For some women there is an obvious trigger for their PND, but for lots of women they are unable to pinpoint a cause which can be extremely distressing. It is important to know that PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault. You did nothing wrong and you don’t deserve this.

The symptoms are similar to those in depression at other times. These include low mood and other symptoms lasting at least two weeks.  Depending on the severity, you may struggle to look after yourself and your baby. You may find simple tasks difficult to manage.

It’s never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better. The help you need depends on how severe your illness is. Depending on the severity of your PND there are various approaches to treatment. Supplements & vitamins, counselling and medication are a few options. Exercise and increased support from family and friends have both proven to be extremely beneficial for the majority of sufferers.