Giving birth is a very stressful and physically demanding experience. The change in role from being responsible for yourself to being completely responsible for another human being can be very challenging and this transition can lead to significant emotional distress, especially if you are away from your family and normal support structures.
Consequently, many women experience feeling down, tearfulness and anxiety in the first couple of weeks after giving birth. This is often referred to as “baby blues” and should resolve after two weeks.
However, in more than 10% of women this can progress to postnatal depression, which can start any time up to a year after giving birth. Symptoms of postnatal depression can include:
These symptoms have a very gradual onset and therefore you might not be aware you are suffering from postnatal depression.
There is effective treatment available. Depending on the severity of depression, you may either need treatment with Talking Therapy (Psychologist) or with medication, in which case you would need to see a Psychiatrist. When you are feeling down, you sometimes get the feeling that nothing will get better. You will recover from your depression. After thorough assessment with a Psychiatrist, he or she will work with you to make a treatment plan with support and follow-up until you have recovered.