Blog | Symptoms of Postnatal Depression

Postnatal depression can affect women in different ways. It can start at any point in the first year after giving birth.

Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first few weeks after giving birth. This is often called the “baby blues” and is so common that it’s considered normal. The “baby blues” don’t last for more than a few weeks after giving birth.

If your symptoms are severe and enduring, you may have some postnatal depression.

Common symptoms of postnatal depression

The main symptoms include:

  • feelings of sadness and low mood
  • loss of interest in the world around you and no longer enjoying things
  • lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
  • feelings of guilt, hopelessness and self-blame
  • having trouble sleeping at night – nightmares
  • feeling that you’re unable to look after your baby
  • problems concentrating and making decisions
  • change in increased appetite
  • feeling agitated, irritable or very apathetic (you “can’t be bothered”)
  • difficulty bonding with your baby with a feeling of indifference
  • thoughts about suicide and self-harm

These symptoms can affect your day-to-day life and leave you feeling isolated.

If you think you may have some of these symptoms, it is a good idea to speak with your GP or health visitor. An opportunity to talk about your feelings can lead to rapid relief and a psychologist will be able to equip you with coping strategies and skills to help you manage things better.

Some coping strategies are:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol
  • Engage in something that you find relaxing everyday
  • Ask for help
  • Avoid high self-expectations

Don’t struggle on alone and hope the problem will go away. Contact us at: therapy@debbiesmith.info