What are the warning signs?
Post natal depression can identify itself in many forms and sometimes it can be confused with the baby blues which usually appear around day four post birth. The baby blues is the most common and mildest form of depression and normally disappear after a few days.
Sadly post natal depression is a condition that can effect many mothers due to elevated hormone levels and feeling emotional and overwhelmed with the sudden responsibility of becoming a parent.
When should I ask for help?
This is a condition that can impact the entire family. Therefore crucial to seek help and support if you feel that you are beginning to lose control of your life as a new parent. This can manifest itself in many ways causing anxiety and negativity possibly affecting your relationship with your baby or you and your family and friends. You can sometimes begin to feel withdrawn or experience reclusive behaviour and these are all important signs to look out for and may be an indication that you need to seek some advice and support to help you and your family.
Is this my fault?
It is all too common for mothers suffering from post natal depression to blame themselves and to consider them to be a bad mother. Sometimes the trigger can be identified from a difficult delivery, family stress or a baby who is demanding of your time. The first few weeks are spent getting to know your baby, however its all important to also look after yourself and try to find a little time in the day to catch up on some sleep or take a warm bath. This will make such a difference for your well-being and of course your friends and family will be delighted to enjoy some bonding time with the new arrival!
Who can I talk too?
It may feel difficult to talk to someone you know about how you are feeling but there are many support groups and healthcare professionals that you can talk to in complete confidence. I would recommend an appointment with your GP or Health Visitor initially and they will offer professional advice, support and guidance. Always remember that post natal depression is treatable and in time you will begin to feel better.