Postnatal 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 PND can continue for months after the birth. Although the symptoms vary it will often leave women feeling upset, anxious, inadequate and guilty.
PND 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 PND
- 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 death 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