Signs and Symptoms of Postnatal Depression / Postpartum depression (www.nhs.uk)
Symptoms of postnatal depression
Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. This is often called the “baby blues” and is so common that it’s considered normal. The “baby blues” don’t last for more than two weeks after giving birth.
If your symptoms last longer or start later, you could have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
Signs that you or someone you know might be depressed include:
- a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day
- difficulty bonding with your baby
- withdrawing from contact with other people
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby
Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually. (www.nhs.uk)
Other Women (or Men) May suffer from;
*Antenatal Depression / Anxiety
During or after pregnancy, Its really important to speak up if you feel that you or your partner / friend/ family member are suffering.
Don’t feel that you are on your own if you are feeling like this, 1 in 10 parents currently experience postnatal depression after the birth of their baby.
There is support out there, and I urge you to speak up if you are feeling unwell or overwhelmed.
Please see below links/ pointers to help you get the help and support you deserve.
- Please speak to your Health visitor, Midwife or GP for a Referral ( can discuss Therapy / Counselling / Medication etc)
- Be as honest as possible when you come into contact with health professionals, when asked to fill out your ‘feelings’ questionnaire during your health visitor visit, there is no shame in admitting that you are struggling , Motherhood isn’t easy! By making them aware, you can be offered a follow-up visit, and ensure that you get the support you need. (I know that I pretended that I was OK through irrational fear of my Baby being taken away, I wish I had been honest from the beginning!)
- Build a support network around you if you can. Do you have any family or friends nearby, a partner or anyone who can help you with providing a hot meal, or supervision of your baby so that you can shower or rest? Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
- Don’t try to be superwoman! The most important things are the health of you and your family, try to prioritize these. Sleep, nutrition and feeling loved will get you through those early days. Rest when you can, its a lot more beneficial than running the vacuum around!
- http://www.mind.org.uk The Mind Mental health Charity offers Information and support, A-Z of mental health, and also local MIND organisations run drop in centres. It’s a great resource to have, and can really help your mental wellbeing by speaking to a trained professional.
- http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk Pandas foundation is here to support and advise any parent who is experiencing a perinatal mental illness. They are also there to inform and guide family members, carers, friends and employers as to how they can support someone who is suffering. Helpline number is 08432898401 (9am-8pm)
- http://www.cedarhouseupportgroup.com The Cedar house support group is for mothers experiencing postnatal depression, based in Guildford.
- http://www.everymummovement.com Read Liv’s inspiring journey through Post Partum Psychosis and marvel at the amazing work she does to empower every mum to have the right to enjoy Motherhood. Liv’s book ‘Bonkers’ was an instrumental part of my recovery, and it was reassuring to see in black and white that despite the way that I was feeling during my depression, that it was possible to make a full recovery. A great read, available on Amazon.
- Anna Mathur http://www.mamasscrapbook.com Anna is a mum of 2 young boys living in Surrey, with a 3rd baby on the way. Anna is an Accredited and experienced BACP Pyschotherapist and offers an honest, humorous and raw insight into the challenges of Motherhood and overcoming PND. Check out Anna’s instagram @AnnaMathur. I particularly enjoy Anna’s posts on Intrusive thoughts, which was a big part of my Anxiety and Postnatal depression.
- The Made up Mom Mindful Motherhood Courses- Join us for our 6 week courses that tackle and explain Maternal Mental health conditions, as well as providing practical support and Parenting advice. Featuring a healthy dose of Self care, Mindfulness, Pampering and Fitness in a friendly and non-judgemental environment, we aim to help you feel more positive and in control.
- Honest Mum, http://www.honestmum.com Vicki’s Blog covers an array of subjects including Family, Food, Style, travel and life. However, my favourite element of Vicki’s empire, has to be her new book #mumboss which offers an honest account of Vicki’s own Maternal Mental health battle, and how she built back up her career, whilst still being able to focus on motherhood. Vicki’s book is inspiring and encouraging, and will make you feel like you can do anything! Mumboss is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mumboss-Honest-Guide-Surviving-Thriving/dp/0349416699
- Mum’s Back https://mumsback.com The Lovely Sally, has turned her motherhood experience into creating thoughtful Hampers for mums, focusing on self care and a nice spot of indulgence (particularly for those who have missed Booze and cheese during pregnancy!) £1 from every sale goes to the PANDAS foundation detailed above!