|There are three types of depression that may affect women within the first year after their baby’s birth.’Baby Blues’- This is often regarded as normal because it is so common. Symptoms develop around the 3 rd day after birth but have usually disappeared by the 10 th day and do not require any medical attention. It is a time of extra sensitivity with a tendency towards tearfulness, anxiety, insomnia and mood swings.
Postnatal Psychosis- The least common but most serious form of post natal disorders, this usually appears within the first few months after childbirth, to mothers with a personal or family history of bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
Postnatal Depression– This generally has a much slower insidious onset, most likely occurring between 3 – 9 months after the baby’s birth and occurs in 1 in 10 mothers. It may persist 6 -15 months, or even longer, especially if it is not treated. Symptoms vary and are discussed further on in this article.
Causes of Postnatal Depression (PND)
There are no clear causes of this illness but several triggers have been identified that may lead to PND. Any mother can develop it but some, even with multiple factors of stress in their lives, do not.
Symptoms of PND
Not all PND requires medical or psychological intervention but help must be sought immediately if the mother is suicidal or has contemplated harm to herself or the baby. Taking care of herself and seeking support from others, whether they be a partner, family or friends, is very important to get through this time. Some of the areas to look at are: