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Post Natal Depression Information

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Active Member
Sep 10, 2004
Statistics show that one in ten mothers suffer from post-natal depression (PND). Hopefully this thread will help you to understand it and spot the signs and symptoms.

There are 3 types of post-natal emotional disturbance that can affect women -

1: The most rare but also the most dramatic is Post-Natal Psychosis, and only affects about 2 in 100 new mothers. The symptoms include:
  • Marked disturbance in mood, characterised by a very high or elevated mood; or a very low, depressed mood; or moods that swing from high to low.
  • A disturbance in thought processes, with nonsensical conversation
  • Auditory or visual hallucinations
  • Sleep disturbance
2: The most common type is Post-Natal "Blues", which is a brief period of emotional distress, occurring between the 3rd and 10th day after you have given birth. It is thought to affect 50-80% of all women. The symptoms are thought to be caused by the sudden change in hormonal balance after childbirth.

3: The third type is Post-Natal Depression (PND). This means "becoming deoressed after having a baby". This type is not usually related to any "obvious" cause associated with childbirth. Sometimes it is easy to explain, for example, an "accidental" pregnancy, or an 'abnormal' baby. Mostly, though, depression makes no sense.

PND can affect one in ten women who do suffer an emotional disturbance after childbirth. It can happen to anyone, and is certainly not a sign of weekness. It can vary in severity. Many women suffer in silence.

PND can go on for months, sometimes years, and can appear at any time in the first year after the birth, but usually within the first four months. The symptoms may resolve themselves, but will be shortened and less severe if medical advice is sought.

There are very recognisable symptoms which are:
  • [#] Depression: the most common - feeling low, unhappy, and wretched. Sometimes the depression is stronger at certain times of the day. Some days are good, some are bad - a feature which, itself, can be upsetting.
  • Irritability: resentment or anger often accompanies the depression. Sometimes shown to the new baby but more often to the partner, who just 'cannot understand what is happening'.
  • Fatigue: this is quite different to the accepted tiredness of a 'new' mother. The depressed mother becomes really exhausted during the day.
  • Insomnia: Despite the feeling of exhaustion, the mother finds that she cannot sleep when she does go to bed - or even if she does, there can be early morning waking.
  • Loss of Appetite: Often presenting as a 'lack of interest' in food and eating. This feature can, of course, add to the general symptoms of feeling 'low'.
  • General features of 'not coping', anxiety and loss of enjoyment: PND can develop even when there is a great maternal love - but then there is the accompanying development of a great unwarranted anxiety towards the baby, and the general handling of the infant. There may even be exaggerated concerns about disease and sudden infant death, in some way.

Help with PND:

Your midwife and/or doctor should be your first port of call. Don't suffer alone.

Use family and friends for support, help and guidance.

If anyone else has anything to add, please feel free
Hi Snowy,
Thanks for the thread. :flower4u:
Post Natal Depression support groups are also really good, they allow you to mix with other women going through the same things as you in an informal setting.
I've had PND with all 3 of my children, it's an illness that shouldn't be ignored.
Added information, after the 10 day period when you are released from Midwifery Care to Health Visitor Care your HV may give you a questionnaire to fill in - this is to guage your risk factor for PND and dependent upon your score will depend on what action he/she takes.

So please ensure that you fill the form in honestly as the sooner PND is indicated the sooner it can be treated.

I filled in that form so many times, I should know it off by heart.

My worse time was when I'd been on medication for 3 months but it obviously wasn't the right one for me, as I was a mess and still scored 29/ 30.

This is one test where the lower the score the better.
I feel like I could easily slip into post natal depression. I love my little one very much and would never do anything to harm her, but there are days I just think I must be a dreadful mother and can't cope. When I see other mothers, I keep thinking how much better they are at coping than me, so it must be something wrong with me personally.
Originally posted by DumbBlondeKelly@Mar 27 2006, 09:57 AM
I feel like I could easily slip into post natal depression. I love my little one very much and would never do anything to harm her, but there are days I just think I must be a dreadful mother and can't cope. When I see other mothers, I keep thinking how much better they are at coping than me, so it must be something wrong with me personally.
Hi DumbBlondeKelly,

How old is your little one?

What you are feeling is part of being a mother and every single mother without exception feels the way you do at times. It is nothing to do with you personally. Wondering if we are raising our child properly, panicking over everything. Raising children is the most challenging and exhausting experience a woman can have.

What are the days like when you feel you can't cope? I ask this because if you can figure out why this may be then you can start taking positive steps and make yourself feel better about the situation.

Also talking to your health visitor or doctor could be of benefit, if anything for reassurance that everything you are doing is right. Although I am sure it is.

The other thing is that by admitting that potentially you could slip into PND means that you are a GOOD mother! There is nothing wrong with admitting the way we feel at times. If you feel this way again may be speak to your Doctor, there is also nothing wrong with getting help and advice. It does not show that you can't manage but actually shows that you are taking positive steps instead.

Feel free to pm me anytime if you need a friendly ear or write in here or start your own thread. There are a few Mummy's on this board who I know will give you first hand advice and a sympathetic ear if you need it. Don't feel as if you are alone because I guarantee you aren't.

Hugs to you and your little one. :hugz:

Lottie :kissheart:
Thanks for the kind words. Sasha is 3 months on March 31st (yes..... labour on New Year's eve!).

I think being tired all the time doesn't help either
I'm a single Mum who lives out in the sticks - my family are all in Australia, so there is no one here in the tiny village I can get to help with looking after her
Where do you live sweeite?

I totally agree with Lottie about talking to your health visitor/doctor. Are there any parent & toddler groups in your area? I used to go along once a week with the kids I nannied for, That one to two hours a week were heaven, talking to other parents, letting the kids play and not having to worry about them. You should ask you health visitor about them as well.

Do you have any close friends who would take her for a couple of hours and let you get an afternoon nap? Or first thing in the morning so you could go back to bed?


p.s. can I just add.... whether you are suffering from PND or not, the most important step in healing.... is admitting you need a little extra support. As Lottie said, positive steps.
Originally posted by DumbBlondeKelly@Mar 27 2006, 05:14 PM
Thanks for the kind words. Sasha is 3 months on March 31st (yes..... labour on New Year's eve!).

I think being tired all the time doesn't help either
I'm a single Mum who lives out in the sticks - my family are all in Australia, so there is no one here in the tiny village I can get to help with looking after her
Sasha is only a couple of days younger than Alex! He was born 28th Dec 05.

Sweety, I know how hard it must be for you right now.. We only gave birth 12 weeks ago, our bodies are still recovering emotionally and mentally. Our Hormones are still all over the place... Birth is a traumatic experience. It is very normal to feel tired and out of sorts.

Have you got Sasha into a routine yet? More specifically a sleep routine yet? Does she sleep throughout the night? If you haven't this would help enormously and give you much needed rest. I could give you a few tips because Alex is sleeping throughout the night now.

As Snowy mentioned, do you have any reliable friends that could look after Sasha for a couple of hours so you can get some rest or time to yourself? Again Mother and baby groups within the surrounding area would also be good for both of you. You get to socialise with other Mothers in your position and Sasha gets to interact with other babies.

What you prolly need is a support network and its a real shame your family aren't around. Whereabouts do you live, which country?
The other thing I forgot to add was and just in case you aren't....

Are you taking any vitamin supplements? You can get specially designed vitamins and mineral supplements Post Natal or just the B vits. Vit B is very very good for keeping on top of things.

I say this because this is what I am taking and it works wonders for me. I have a little history of depression and was concerned that I may get PND but I haven't and I swear the B vits help.

Its important that you eat or try to eat properly if you aren't, although i know how hard this is. I tend to snack instead throughout the day and then have a main meal at night once Alex is settled. I also take complan which is a 'build up' supplement for an added boost of the good stuff. This isn't fantastic but at least I am getting some nutrients inside of me. Drinking plenty is important too.
Most of all please feel free to come here and let off steam. There's other mum's here who can probably relate to your situation and feelings.

Sometimes that's enough to give the boost needed... knowing you're not alone. If there's anything we can do to help, even if it's to research anything for you, don't hesitate to let us know.

First off, I'm going to drop the dumb blonde part and just address you as Kelly.

Hi Kelly

My little guy is 5 1/2 years old and luckily I never suffered from PND, however my long time friend who gave birth 1 week before me did and I know how easily it is to slip into.

I want to tell you there is nothing wrong with you and what you are feeling is perfectly normal.

You need a support system, even if it's only someone to vent to when you are feeling overwhelmed. I know you said you live in a rural area but can you find out if you have any local mummy & baby groups? You can ask your GP or local health clinic. Do you have any family nearby?

How was Sasha's birth? Are you nursing or bottle feeding? Remember if you are nursing (in fact this is good advice even if you aren't) Eat well and drink plenty of fluids, especially water. I can't stress enough how important it is to stay hydrated. Vitamins are a good idea.

Sleep is important. Sasha is still young enough where you have to meet all his needs. I know how hard that is, Joey was a very wakeful baby. Sleep when Sasha sleeps, even if its for an hour when he naps. Those dishes can wait till later!

Get out of the house and get fresh air and sunshine. A short or long walk will do wonders for you both. Also see if you can arrange to have someone look after Sasha even if its for an hour a week. Just enough to give you a break.

Kelly you aren't alone, there are lots of wonderful women here to talk to. LOL, GP has members from around the globe so you will always find someone willing to listen, someone who will understand what you are going through.

Wow lots of really helpful information - I had no idea about the vitamins so thank you for that. I'm going to ask my doctor about taking them as I suffer from ME, so I just want to make sure it's OK to take extra stuff.

Dot - Sash's birth was OK - nothing particularly complicated. I was alone though, which was hard. The hospital team were great though. My family moved to Aus just before she was born so I am stuck here in England alone. My family originally came from Aus so my parents moved back there, and that is where a majority are. I couldn't move with them unfortunately for a few reasons - one being heavily pregnant at the time!

The village I am in doesn't have any mum and baby groups and I think the nearest town that might would be about 5 miles away. Not easy to get to by bus with a tiny baby. But I will talk to my health visitor about what else there might be.

I've only lived here about 4 months after having to move away suddenly (from my ex, Sash's dad - had to leave behind all my friends and go from one end of the country to the other) so I don't really know anyone yet. Because of the tiredness I haven't been able to get out since she was born except to do the shopping
I'm a bit wary of getting to know too many people at the moment in case my ex discovers where I am somehow.

I think I'm lucky in many ways because she is a fairly good baby. She sleeps quite well at night, it's probably breast feeding that makes me even more tired. I'm trying to eat regularly but sometimes it's a real effort making dinner when all I want to do is sleep!

Thanks for all the support. I really appreciate it.

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