While welcoming a new born is supposed to be one of the happiest times for a mother or any couple, some women/couples face one of the most troubling times of their lives. Postnatal depression is the name given to depression that develops between one month and up to one year after the birth of a baby.
All parents go through a period of adjustment as they try to handle the huge changes and challenges that a baby brings. For most people, this time of adjustment will be temporary and will not be overly distressing.
Many women experience the 'baby blues' in the first few days after having a baby. The baby blues usually only last 2 to 3 days, and you might feel teary, anxious and moody during this time.
The support of your partner, family and friends is usually enough to help new mothers/couples get through it.
When these feelings last beyond these early days and continue to get worse, it may be a sign of developing depression.
There are many signs that someone may be struggling with postnatal depression. Some of the more common ones include:
• Having a very low mood
• Feeling like you not enough and a failure as a mother
• Having a sense of hopelessness about the future
• Feeling exhausted, empty, sad and teary
• Feeling guilty, ashamed or worthless
• Feeling anxious or panicky
• Having trouble sleeping, sleep for too long or have nightmares
• Worrying excessively about their baby
• Feeling scared of being alone or going out
If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, you should seek professional help straight away.