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.
|8 out of 10 mums will have short-term symptoms of ‘baby blues’ after giving birth; this lasts for a few days.
60% of new mums experience symptoms of post natal depression
15% of new mums will be diagnosed with postnatal depression every year in the UK
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
|Feeling tired all the time
|Feeling indifferent or disinterested towards your baby
|Feeling frequently overwhelmed or unable to cope
|Feeling irritable or angry
|Feelings of guilt that do not subside
|Lack of concentration
|Difficulties with sleeping (even when you have opportunity to sleep)
|Withdrawing from socialising
|Frequent crying for no obvious reason
|Having difficulty bonding with baby
|Neglecting themselves – for example not washing or changing their clothes
|Losing all sense of time – being unaware if 10 mins or 2 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
(please be aware that some of these symptoms can be expected after you have just had a baby, such as lack of sleep, tiredness and moments of feeling overwhelmed but if you feel they are becoming worse or more frequent then please seek further support).
|Hormone levels – after giving birth your hormone levels change, which can impact on your mood
|A difficult or traumatic birth – can have an effect on your mood
|Previous postnatal depression
|Previous mental health difficulties – make you more susceptible to developing post-natal depression
Referrals can be made by a health professional or self-referral, then an initial assessment is carried out, treatment is discussed and are placed on the most appropriate treatment pathway. Clients can be seen at their GP surgery, James Cook University Hospital, or one of our other venues within the community.
We also consider and, if appropriate assess and address the needs of fathers/partners, families and carers that might affect a woman with a mental health problem in pregnancy and the postnatal period. These include:
If you are wanting to find out more information about medication then please seek the advice of your GP. There is also further information for you to read on the following website https://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/
Take a look at some of the websites and apps that can support you.
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