Post-natal depression affects more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth.
Most new mothers experience ‘baby blues’, mild depression that can last for a few weeks after the baby is born. However, post-natal depression can continue for months after the birth. Although the symptoms vary it will often leave women feeling upset, anxious, inadequate and guilty.
Post-natal depression is a serious illness. Often women don’t want to tell anyone how they are feeling as they worry that they could be seen as a ‘bad’ or ‘inadequate’ mother.
Common Experiences of Post-natal depression
- Feelings that you can’t cope with your baby.
- Feeling irritable.
- Intense feelings of sadness and guilt.
- Feelings of hopelessness.
- Loss of interest in sex.
- Negative feelings towards your partner and/or baby.
“I felt as if I wasn’t good enough for my son. I felt like he would be better off without me. I felt like I was incapable of giving him the life he deserved, which in turn made me feel guilty and took me to a very dark place.
“No matter how many people told me that I was more than capable of giving him the life he deserved, it fell on deaf ears because I felt worthless and ashamed - I was in absolute despair.”
– Angela Erskine
Read Angela's story here.
- Association for Postnatal Illness: http://www.apni.org
- Royal College of Psychiatrists: https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/post-natal-depression
- NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-natal-depression