Having a baby is usually thought of as a happy and exciting time. However, becoming a new mum is not always as we expect and you may not feel like this straight away.
You may go through a brief period of feeling emotional and tearful – known as the 'baby blues'. It usually starts 3-10 days after giving birth and affects around 85 per cent of new mothers. It is so common that it is considered normal. New fathers may also feel it. And, although having the baby blues may be distressing, it's important to be aware that it doesn't last long – usually only a few days – and is generally quite manageable.
However, around 10-15 per cent of new mothers develop a much deeper and longer-term depression known as postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within six weeks of giving birth and can come on gradually or all of a sudden. It can range from being relatively mild to very severe.
Warning signs in new mothers
- frequently crying for no obvious reason
- having difficulty bonding with their baby
- neglecting themselves – for example, not washing or changing their clothes
- losing all sense of time – for example, being unaware whether 10 minutes or two hours have passed.
- losing all sense of humour and not being able to see the funny side of anything
- worrying that something is wrong with their baby, regardless of reassurance
- hormone levels – after giving birth your hormone levels change, which can impact on your mood
- a traumatic birth – this can have an effect on your mood
- previous postnatal depression
- previous mental health difficulties – this may make you more susceptible to developing post-natal depression
How can we help?
You will first need an assessment with one of our therapists. You will have an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and what situation you are facing and decide what best suits your needs via the telephone or in person.
To speak to someone in confidence for advice or to arrange an appointment please contact our team on Freephone 0800 230 0688
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