Postnatal Depression

Post Natal Depression also known as PND or postpartum depression, is a slide into gradual depression following the birth of a baby and can affect around 18,000 mothers annually in Ireland. It may start off as the baby blues which generally lasts for a two week period. If a mother feels she has a low mood after that two week period and is struggling to cope this can be Post Natal Depression. Post Natal Depression can last for many months after a baby is born therefore it is really important for a woman to talk with her GP, Public Health Nurse, a partner or family member about how she is feeling.

The life changes that come with a new baby are more than challenging at the best of times so it is quite normal for new parents to be confused when trying to figure out what they are feeling and how the mother is doing. Lack of sleep is a significant contributory factor in this process. Post Natal Depression is an illness and it is also treatable, however it is important not to ignore these feelings as it does not go away without professional intervention so please do not be afraid to ask for ‘help’.

Post Natal Depression is a multi-factorial condition with biological, psychological and social factors all playing some part. A different combination of factors is probably responsible for each woman’s unique experience of Post Natal Depression

Previous Experiences 
  • Previous emotional traumas
  • A personal or family history of depression, anxiety, or postpartum depression
  • Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD or PMS)
  • Inadequate support in caring for the baby
  • Financial stress
  • Relationship stress
  • Complications in pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  • A major recent life event: loss, house move, job loss
  • Mothers of multiples
  • Mothers whose infants are in Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU)
  • Mothers who have gone through infertility treatments
  • Women with a thyroid imbalance
  • Women with any form of diabetes (type 1, type 2 or gestational)

 Symptoms

  • Loss or increase of appetite
  • Inability to sleep or excessive sleeping or fatigue and not wanting to get up and face the day
  • Despair
  • Feeling numb
  • Withdrawing from family and friends and other social occasions
  • Lack of concentration or memory difficulties
  • Feelings of guilt, shame or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest, joy or pleasure in things you used to enjoy
  • Possible thoughts of harming yourself
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed, out of control, unable to cope
  • Irritability or aggressive behaviour
  • Loss of libido
  • Loss of confidence and self-esteem and feeling inadequate
  • A disconnect with your baby
  • Anxious about your baby (not allowing anyone to take the baby for a time)
 Having Post Natal Depression is not an illness to be ashamed of with professional help a mother can be really well and family life can once again be restored. It is important to know you are not ALONE. 
 For professional support please call Nurture Health on 085 8619585 or email us on info@nurturehealth.ie  
 ‘It really is okay to talk about it’