Feeling low after you have had a baby is not unusual. Women may experience:
- Baby blues – a sad, sometimes weepy, feeling lasting a few hours or days (half of all mothers feel like this)
- Postnatal depression – a state in which a mother feels tired and as though she is not coping; it is thought to affect some 10% of new mothers and is more common in women who have previously suffered from depression
- Puerperal psychosis – a rare, serious mental illness often needing psychiatric treatment and possibly a hospital stay (affecting only one mother in 500).
In addition, there are some women who show symptoms of post-traumatic stress, such as distressing flashbacks, nightmares and intrusive images, and this usually seems to be linked to experiencing the birth as a traumatic event.
Click here to read NCT's guide on Postnatal Depression, which includes common symptons, where to seek help and how to get better.
The Birth Trauma Association
Women's Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. It supports a network of over 500 domestic and sexual violence services across the UK.
Support Groups and Help
National Childbirth Trust offering information and support in pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. 0300 330 0773.
Post Natal Depression Group (Beat the Blues) in Stockport. Visit: www.beattheblues-stockport.co.uk/ for more information.
Cry-sis is a phone line which offers help and support for parents troubled by a crying of sleepless baby. 0207 404 5011. www.apni.org
Association for Post Natal Illness can put you in touch with other mothers who have come through the illness. 0207 386 0868.
Netmums coffee house If you think you may be suffering from PND visit the postnatal depression board . You can talk to and see how other mums are getting on. There is also lots of useful information about PND on this website. www.netmums.com/pnd
Homestart (Tameside) supports any family who needs them, as long as they have at least one child under five. 0161 339 9747. www.home-start.org.uk/
Visit your local ibrary and access the self help guide book entitles 'Post Natal Depression'