Postnatal depression is a type of depression that can affect both mothers and fathers after having a baby. If a mother has had a stressful pregnancy, a traumatic birth or suffered with depression and anxiety during pregnancy, she is more vulnerable to the risk of developing postnatal depression.
Post natal depression can impact relationships both with baby and partner. Mothers may not look after their baby, or themselves. Postnatal depression may impact a child’s development and behaviour even after their mothers depression has ended. So the faster this illness is recognised, the faster treatment can begin and the shorter it will be for mother to feel well again.
Unfortunately postnatal depression is common, with up to 15 women out of every 100 experiencing this form of depression. Early warning signs may be feeling low, emotionally unstable, having intrusive thoughts, feeling drained all the time and, not able to enjoy the simple pleasures of daily life.
For maternal mental health week I have created a simple guide for pregnant and new mothers to increase awareness of this common condition and identify the early warning signs in pregnancy.