Postnatal depression affects approximately 1 in 7 women and is a type of depression that develops between a month and a year after a baby is born.
It is different from the baby blues, which up to 80% of women may experience. The ‘baby blues’ is a set of feelings that can occur between day three and ten after a baby is born. It can last a few days and is usually due to changes in hormone levels, learning to breastfeed, lack of sleep and a combination of any. Following my self-care tips can help beat the baby blues.
Postnatal depression can also affect fathers and seems to occur more between six weeks to six months after birth.
There is a questionnaire that asks about symptoms and your current feelings. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) helps diagnose symptoms common with anxiety and feelings of depression. We perform the EPDS at 28 weeks of pregnancy and during your six-week check to ensure you are feeling ok.
The Beyond Blue website has some very useful tools that you can refer to here
There are different treatment options that I or your GP can go through. These options can include medication as well as counselling and quite often are a combination of both.
It is so important to raise awareness and for us to talk more about PND. This is not something for anyone to ever be embarrassed about and the more we talk the better.
If you or someone you know have any of the above symptoms or are showing signs of postnatal depression, please contact any of the resources below:
PANDA – 1300 726 306
beyondblue – 1300 224 636
Pregnancy, Birth and Baby – 1800 882 436