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Symptoms of PND

Postnatal depression (PND) is very common, affecting as many as one in five new mothers. It may present in many different ways and is just as likely to include symptoms of anxiety as those typically associated with a low mood. For this reason many prefer to describe it as postnatal distress or illness rather than depression.

Symptoms of PND may include:

  • feeling sad and tearful
  • feeling anxious or afraid to be on your own with your baby
  • being preoccupied with worrying thoughts
  • having difficulty adjusting to parenthood or in bonding with your baby
  • experiencing difficulties with your partner since having a baby
  • feeling stressed and unmotivated
  • feeling tired and overwhelmed
  • having difficulties getting over your birth experience

Most women experience the baby blues, some tearfulness and low mood a few days after birth, but if your problems persist you may have PND. With the right support PND is very treatable and so it is important that anyone experiencing it seeks help as soon as they can.

Seek professional help if you:

  • are unable to handle the intensity of what you are feeling, or the physical sensations
  • continue to feel numb or overly stressed
  • feel like your emotions are not returning to 'normal'
  • have disturbed sleeping and eating patterns
  • have no person or group with whom you can share your feelings and experiences
  • find relationships with friends and family are suffering