Postnatal depression
It’s common to feel down or out of your depth after childbirth. This is often called the “baby blues”. However, with postnatal depression (PND), these feelings can be more severe and long-lasting, and can interfere with your ability to care for baby and yourself.

Symptoms of postnatal depression can come on suddenly, or even gradually, so you may not realise how depressed you are for a while. You feel frightened and isolated as you struggle to make sense of your feelings. You feel like a failure and are reluctant to reveal any negative thoughts about being unable to cope, for fear of being judged or having your baby taken away from you.

You are not alone – many new mothers feel the same way. Additionally, if you experienced low mood, anxiety or depression before or during pregnancy, you are more likely to experience depression after birth. Having PND depression does not make you a bad parent. It is a serious condition and it is important that you seek the right help and support as soon as possible.

Recognising postnatal depression: what are the symptoms?
In addition to common psychological, physical and social symptoms of depression, symptoms of PND include:
  • Feeling guilty about not coping, not being a good mother, or not loving your baby
  • Experiencing high levels of anxiety and feeling unable to cope
  • Feeling low and despondent, and disinterested in the outside world
  • Being hostile to, or emotionally disconnected from your baby or your partner
  • Having disturbing thoughts about harming yourself or your baby.

 
Every mother will experience PND differently and some of your symptoms may not be listed here. However, if you don’t feel ‘right’ within yourself, it’s important that you seek professional help.

In rare cases, a severe mood disorder called postnatal psychosis may develop. Symptoms include hallucinations, delusional thoughts, paranoia, loss of inhibitions, behaviour that is out of character, feeling ‘high’ or ‘manic’, or rapid changes in mood. If this is suspected, medical help should be sought urgently.

Treating postnatal depression: what are the options?
The recovery from postnatal depression is gradual, but with the right help and support it can typically go away within six months. In some cases, it can last longer, becoming chronic. It’s therefore important to commence treatment as soon as possible.

There are a range of highly effective approaches for the treatment of PND, including psychotherapy, counselling and support groups, as well as nutrition and lifestyles changes. Medication can be an option however many mothers are, understandably, apprehensive about it they are breastfeeding.

I will assess you using an integrative approach, and formulate a treatment plan based on the underlying causes and the severity of your depression, as well as other lifestyle factors.

If you think you are suffering from postnatal depression, or postnatal psychosis, please get in touch to arrange an assessment.


Get in touch

If you have a query, or would like to book a consultation, please get in touch using the below form, by phone on +44 (0)208 392 4237, or via email to contact@drwaynekampers.co.uk