Postnatal depression (PND) is a depressive illness which affects between 10 to 15 in every 100 women having a baby. The symptoms are similar to those in depression at other times. These include low mood and other symptoms lasting at least two weeks.
Depending on the severity, you may struggle to look after yourself and your baby. You may find simple tasks difficult to manage.
Sometimes there is an obvious reason for PND, but not always. You may feel distressed, or guilty for feeling like this, as you expected to be happy about having a baby. However, PND can happen to anyone and it is not your fault.
It’s never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better. The help you need depends on how severe your illness is. Mild PND can be helped by increased support from family and friends.
If you are more unwell, you will need help from your GP and health visitor. If your PND is more severe or not getting better with treatment from your GP, you may need care and treatment from a mental health service.
It’s never too late to seek help. Even if you have been depressed for a while, you can get better.
Depression can also come on in pregnancy and is as common then as in the postnatal period.
NHS Choices Please click on the NHS Choices website for further information on postnatal depression.