Depression affects up to 15% of mothers after they
What causes postnatal depression?
have given birth (postnatal), and up to 9% of women
Just like depression at other times, there is no single during pregnancy (antenatal).
cause of postnatal depression. Experiencing depression Most new mothers experience a brief low mood after the at some time in the past, particularly during the birth of a baby. This is referred to as “the baby blues”. pregnancy, is the single biggest risk factor for Postnatal depression is different because it lasts much But that doesn’t mean that people with a personal • Postnatal depression can range from mild to severe history of depression will always develop postnatal depression, and can occur any time during or after Other key characteristics linked with a higher risk of • It can occur after pregnancies of any length, including those where there is a miscarriage • Symptoms of postnatal depression usually start • Past or current emotional problem(s) within the fi rst few months after delivery. The mother may not seem interested in her baby, or other • Being younger than 20 years old at time of delivery Fathers can also experience depression at this time, although it’s not usually referred to as “postnatal depression”.
• Having been separated from one or both parents in • Receiving poor parental support and attention in • Having had limited parental support in adulthood • Poor relationship with husband or boyfriend • Economic problems with housing or income • Dissatisfaction with amount of education What are the symptoms?
Where to get help:
Symptoms of postnatal depression are similar to Talk to your GP, midwife or Well Child provider depression at other times. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. (eg, Plunket nurse) about your options if you are worried about postnatal depression. It is The mother will probably have the usual depression important to ask for help. If your request isn’t signs of feeling sad most of the time or having lost heard, ask again, or try and fi nd someone who interest in things that were once enjoyable. Other symptoms might include: • Feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness Other places to get help include:
• Feeling so unhappy that eating and sleeping Healthline including the Well Child line:
Call 0800 611 116. A registered nurse is just a • Blaming yourself unnecessarily when things go wrong • Feeling anxious, panicky or overwhelmed The Lowdown team: If you want to chat about how
you’re feeling, or you’ve got any questions, you can; As well, she may be emotionally detached from her baby Text The Lowdown team for free on 5626
Email The Lowdown team in the Chat section of
How is it treated?
www.thelowdown.co.nz. You can also ask them Psychological treatment or “talking therapy” is generally to give you a call back if you want to talk on the most effective way of treating depression during and after pregnancy. It may help to increase the social support available to the woman. Medication can also play an Call the Depression Helpline on 0800 111 757
Recommended Sites:
Recent studies have found that the group of medications known as “SSRIs” (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiter) comprehensive information about all aspects are effective in treating postnatal depression. These antidepressants have fewer side effects than other antidepressants and can be taken by breast-feeding mothers. The decision to take medication is up to the individual and should be made in consultation with a doctor.

Source: http://www.thelowdown.co.nz/assets/FactSheets/Fact-Sheet-13-Depression-during-and-after-pregnancy.pdf

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