Welcome, to another important discussion here at Bullabaloo. Today, we are delving into a topic that's often surrounded by stigma and misunderstanding, yet is vitally important for new mums - Postnatal Depression (PND).
Postnatal depression is a type of depression some women experience after giving birth. It can develop within the first six weeks after birth, but it's often not apparent until around six months. PND can be incredibly challenging and isolating, but remember, it's not your fault and you're not alone. With help, you will get better.
Understanding Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression is more than just 'baby blues'. The 'baby blues' is a brief period of feeling emotional and tearful around 3-10 days after giving birth. However, if your symptoms last longer or start later, you could have PND.
Symptoms of Postnatal Depression
Symptoms vary widely between individuals, but may include:
- A persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
- Fatigue or low energy
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Problems concentrating and making decisions
- Difficulties bonding with your baby
- Withdrawal from contact with other people
- Frightening thoughts, such as hurting your baby
If you recognise any of these symptoms, please reach out to your GP or health visitor. They are there to help you.
What Causes Postnatal Depression?
There's no single reason why some new mums develop postnatal depression and others don't. Hormonal changes, the physical and emotional strain of caring for a newborn, sleep deprivation, or a history of mental health problems may all play a part.
It's essential to remember: it's not your fault if you're experiencing postnatal depression. You are not alone, and it does not make you a bad mother.
Treatment and Support for Postnatal Depression
Treatment for postnatal depression often involves a combination of self-help strategies, therapy, and medication.
- Self-help strategies might include ensuring you're getting enough rest, eating healthily, and making some time for yourself.
- Psychological therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you manage the way you feel by changing the way you think and behave.
- Antidepressants can be effective for some women. Your GP can talk you through the risks and benefits.
Remember, if you or a loved one is struggling with postnatal depression, reach out. Don't suffer in silence. It's okay not to be okay, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Please share this article with other new mums. Together, we can shine a light on postnatal depression and help those who are suffering to realise they're not alone.You can find more help via the NHS - Postnatal Depression.