Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression 

After giving birth many women experience a time period called ‘baby blues’, which refers to feeling emotional or low for around two weeks. Postnatal depression however, usually peaks between 6 to 12 weeks after giving birth, but can begin at any point during the first year. 

Symptoms of postnatal depression can include:

  • Sadness or low mood 
  • Difficulty sleeping 
  • Loss of enjoyment or interest in things you previously enjoyed 
  • Withdrawing from other people 
  • Having trouble concentrating 
  • Panic attacks 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Struggling to look after yourself or others 
  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or others 
  • Changes in appetite 


If you are struggling, the National Health Service (NHS) recommends telling your doctor, health visitor or midwife as soon as possible. 

Talking therapy – A doctor may refer you to therapy, for example Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or recommend a self-help course. Additionally, in the UK you can also refer yourself for talking therapy. 

Support – Having a good support system can help you feel more comfortable in your new role as a parent and take some of the stress off you. 

Self-care – There are small things you can do for yourself every day to improve your wellbeing. For example, making time for yourself, speaking to friends and family, eating a balanced diet, spending time outside or taking time to rest. 

Medication – If other forms of treatment are not effective or your depression is severe a doctor may recommend medication. 


NHS (2022). Postnatal depression. [online] nhs. Available at:

Leahy-Warren, P., & McCarthy, G. (2007). Postnatal depression: prevalence, mothers’ perspectives, and treatments. Archives of psychiatric nursing21(2), 91–100.

APNI – Association for Post-Natal Illness | Post Natal Depression. (n.d.). Post Natal Depression. [online] Available at:

Mental Health Foundation (2022). Postnatal Depression. [online] Available at:

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