A new study of maternal health has found that depression is more common when a child is four after a first birth than at any time during the first 12 months of a baby's life. The study evaluated 1,507 women at three, six, 12, 18 months and four years after giving birth.
Researchers were alarmed to find that women with only one child at four years after birth showed significantly higher levels of depression than women with one or two children.
Contributing factors reported were:
Reporting depressive symptoms either in early pregnancy, or in the first 12 months after childbirth
Being a young mother, aged 18-24
Stressful life events in the year before the four year follow-up
Violence from a partner
But at four years after giving birth, 40% of women reporting depressive symptoms had not previously reported this.
There is "a real danger" postnatal depression is on the increase because new mums are pressured to "look, act and feel perfect", warned the founder of a parents advice service.
Sally Russell, the co-founder of Netmums, warned postnatal depression took its toll on the whole family.
Depression during or post pregnancy can be dreadful for the mother - but the condition affects the whole family as well.
The illness robs families of what should be one of the happiest times of their lives as they welcome a new arrival.
It's clear to see that as society changes with longer working hours, fewer families living close together and the relentless media pressure for new mums to look, act and feel perfect, that there is a real danger incidences of this illness could be on the increase.
Under half of midwives see the same woman throughout her pregnancy, a poll has found.
Netmums, baby charity Tommy's and the Royal College of Midwives (RCM), quizzed 2,000 health professionals on top of 1,500 mothers who suffered from postnatal depression, in a survey on women's mental health.
Fewer than half (46%) of community midwives saw the same woman throughout her care.
As many as 44% said there was not enough time to discuss mental health in appointments.
Their concerns were echoed by health visitors, with only 43% seeing the same woman throughout her care.
Intense pressure to get everything right is contributing to a rise in the number of new mums suffering from post-natal depression, a report has found.
Money worries, practical help with childcare and work worries have all contributed to women feeling very low after giving birth.
A survey of 1,500 women who suffered from depression either in pregnancy or birth found 12% felt as if they could not cope, 22% felt overwhelming pressure to "do things right" and 21% suffered due to a lack of support.
The poll, from organisations including Netmums, the baby charity Tommy), forms part of a report into mental health among pregnant women and those who have given birth.