What is postnatal depression?

More than just the ‘baby blues’ that many women experience for a few weeks after giving birth, postnatal depression is a mental health condition that mostly affects women but can also affect their partners. This type of depression occurs during pregnancy or after delivery. Feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion can make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves or for their babies.     

Although the list below is not exhaustive, some of the common symptoms of postnatal depression include:

  • Persistent feeling of sadness or low mood
  • Loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things
  • Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling that you are unable to look after your baby
  • Problems concentrating and making decisions
  • Loss of appetite or increased appetite
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self blame
  • Difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference and no sense of enjoyment in his or her company
  • Frightening thoughts such as wishing to hurt your baby, these can be very scary and disturbing but they are rarely acted upon
  • Thinking about self-harm and suicide

If you feel that the above applies to you, it is important to seek help as soon as possible as the symptoms could have a significant impact on you and your baby. With the appropriate therapy, most women make a full recovery.

Which therapies might help?

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Cognitive analytic therapy (CAT)

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