Let's start at the beginning.. What is Postnatal Depression? Do you know? Do you know how this could be affecting one of your employees or a loved one? Here's some research we've put together by our new Researcher Mollie Foster.
What is Postnatal Depression?
Postnatal depression is a type of depression which many parents experience after having a baby.
Who does this affect?
This type of depression is extremely common, affecting 1 in 10 women within one year of giving birth.
Postnatal depression can also affect fathers and partners involved.
What are the symptoms?
It is considered normal for the following symptoms to occur for the first week or two after giving birth:
However, if these symptoms carry on for longer than two weeks, or start later, it is a possibility that you are suffering from postnatal depression. The symptoms may also develop very gradually, making it harder to realise you have postnatal depression.
The following symptoms show signs of postnatal depression, and will most likely appear within the first year after giving birth:
Persistent feeling of sadness.
Lack of energy.
Lack of enjoyment.
Difficulty in bonding with your baby.
Struggling to concentrate.
Withdrawing from contact with others.
Frightening and intrusive thoughts.
What Causes It?
A history of mental health problems such as depression in early life or throughout pregnancy.
Having little or no support throughout pregnancy.
Poor relationship with your partner.
Any recent stressful experiences such as a bereavement or illness within the family or friendship circle.
What to do?
Speak to your GP or Health Visitor. Medication such as anti-depressants may be prescribed by a professional.
Self-care and self-help. This can involve talking to family and friends about your feelings, resting when possible and as much as your body tells you to, taking part in things you enjoy such as reading a book or meeting a friend for a coffee, eating healthily, exercise in moderation, and ensuring you get enough sleep at night.
Psychological Therapy. This can be a self-referral or one by a GP. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) may be recommended. [Speak to one of the INSPIRE team to get affordable counselling therapy]
Local and national organisations, such as the Association for Postnatal Illness (APNI) and Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) can also be useful for help and support.
With the right help and support, most women or partners do make a full recovery from postnatal depression.
NHS Postnatal Depression [Online]. Available From: https://www.nhs.uk/mental-health/conditions/post-natal-depression/overview/