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What is it?

The following information comes from

What is postnatal depression?

  • Postnatal depression is a treatable illness that causes prolonged lowness, sad or angry emotion, tiredness, loss of enjoyment of life after the birth of a child.
  • Can occur soon after the birth or slowly over time, up to two years after the birth of any child.
  • Happens to any women of any culture and any age.
  • Can occur not only after a first child. It can occur after the birth of the third or the fifth child. It can occur after the first child only. It can occur after the third child but not the first two. Postnatal distress or depression can occur after the birth of each child.
  • If you do develop postnatal depression there is a 50% chance that you will be affected in subsequent pregnancies.

What causes postnatal depression?

  • There are many things that can cause postnatal distress or depression. Especially when a number of these things are combined - this is usually the case.
  • Hormonal changes that follow childbirth
  • Expecting too much of yourself
  • Lack of sleep
  • Change in lifestyle, life routine due to the birth of your child
  • Isolation and/or lack of support

What are the most common symptoms of postnatal depression?

  • Extremes of emotions sad, tearful, angry, guilty, anxious; or lack of emotions, unable to feel anything, unable to feel happy
  • I don’t enjoy anything anymore
  • I am always tired, have no energy
  • I feel like I am failing, I blame myself for everything, everyone else copes with/manages life better than I do
  • I can’t bond with my child
  • I need constant reassurance
  • I feel resentful at the loss of contact/time with my partner
  • My appetite has changed (decreased/increased)
  • My sleep patterns have changed
  • I don’t like to be alone OR I don’t like to be with others
  • My memory has decreased, I have loss of concentration
  • I have a lack of confidence, low self esteem
  • Thoughts of self harm or harming my baby