One of my special areas of interest is post partum depression and at Evolve mindfulness clinic I have been working with many mothers who have been experiencing the impact of low mood depression following the birth of their baby. Post partum depression occurs after you have had your baby and can also begin before you have your baby. It is very common and can impact between 10 and 15 women in every 100. It is possible that this figure is higher as many women try to cope without support or seek help.
The symptoms of PND is similar to depression including low mood, and losing interest in things that are normally enjoyable. Many mothers who have low mood depression following the birth of their baby are not sure whether they can seek help, often because they feel that they should be coping well and enjoying the experience.
The good news is that PND quickly responds to cognitive behaviour therapy and social support and many women make a full recovery.
There are tho other distressing emotional conditions that women sometimes experience after they have had a baby. The baby blues is a form of depression that occurs in up to 8/10 mothers during the first few days after they have had their baby. When suffering the baby blues mothers usually feel very emotional and can burst into tears for no particular reason. New mothers often feel anxious, tense and exhausted and may have difficulties sleeping. Causes of the blues may be sudden changes in hormonal levels or trauma during the birth itself. The blues usually last for a few days and then fade as quickly as they come.
The other form of depression is Puerpal Psychosis which is very rare and impacts on one new mother in every thousand. New mothers who suffer this need medical attention and possibly hospitalization.
If you have any of these symptoms you may be experiencing PND:
If you think you may be suffering PND then it is important to seek help from your GP. Psychology counselling can also be very helpful and many mothers report a greater sense of confidence and comfort once they have sought help and support. It is really important to know that you do not need to suffer alone and that you Will get better. Other ways to help yourself are to talk to others, take exercise, be realistic, try to rest, do things you enjoy, list things to do and mix with other mums.
Other useful web sites are beyond blue where you can answer the Edinburgh PostNatal Depression Inventory to assess your level of depression.