It’s a common problem normally approximately 50% to 75% of all new mothers will experience some negative feelings after giving birth. Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. These feelings occur suddenly four to five days after the birth of the baby. This is called ‘baby blues’ and it is the least severe form of postpartum depression. Usually ‘baby blues’ only last for around two weeks, if you have these signs for longer you may have postnatal depression. Many women don’t realise they have postnatal depression, because it can develop gradually. Postnatal depression can start any time in the first year after giving birth.
Common symptoms include:
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Finding it difficult to bond with your baby
- Withdrawing contact from friends
- Change in eating and sleeping
If you have these symptoms and you think you have postnatal depression, don’t struggle alone. Talk to someone you can trust or talk to your GP or health visitor. Health visitors have been trained to recognise postnatal depression and have techniques that can help you.