If you think you might be suffering from post natal depression find out more about the symptoms and help available.
There is no universally agreed definition of post natal depression, but it is known to affect a mother in the weeks and months after childbirth.
Post natal depression affects around 10 to 15 % of all new mothers, although the figure could be much higher.
What are the symptoms?
All new mothers feel tired, lack energy, and experience feelings of guilt and anxiety. But a mother with post-natal depression may show, express or experience, a combination of the following symptoms:
* Disturbed sleep
* Excessive exhaustion
* Difficulties making decisions
* Loss of self-esteem
* Lack of confidence in her ability as a mother
* No enjoyment of motherhood
* Fear of harming herself or the baby
* Loss of libido
* Loss of appetite
* Hostility or indifference to people she normally loves
* Difficulty in concentrating
* Shame at being unable to be happy
* Fear of judgement
Dr Hilary's Tips
Prepare for post natal depression when you are pregnant. Even though you will want to focus on the positive side of having a baby you must be prepared for the potential negative such huge change can bring.
Don't be worried about antidepressants or counselling. Both still have a stigma attached even now, but they are necessary for recovery from post natal depression.
Look after yourself; pamper yourself, go for walks, and take enough time to relax.
Accept any help and support offered with the baby. Many mothers feel they cannot leave the baby alone for a second but you must have time to yourself.