Postnatal depression (PND) – BabyCentre UK

In this article

What is postnatal depression?

How common is postnatal depression?

About one in eight mums in the UK seeks help from their GP for PND, so it is very common

How will I know if I have PND?

The

When does PND usually happen?

PND often develops within the first few months after giving birth, particularly in the first five weeks

What causes PND?

Experts don’t fully understand why some women become depressed and others don’t. It’s likely to be for a few reasons, rather than just one cause. You could be vulnerable to depression with your second baby, even if you were fine with your first, or vice versa

How is PND treated?

With help, you will get better. Your GP or health visitor will want to support you, so that you can look after yourself and your baby well. Be reassured that having PND does not mean that you are a bad mother, or that you will have your baby taken away from you

Antidepressants don’t always work, and may cause side-effects. Though they are not addictive, very occasionally, a person can become dependent on them

How can I help myself to overcome PND?

How can my partner, friends and family help?

It can be hard for those closest to you to understand how awful you’re feeling. But they have an important part to play in helping you to get better. Tell them what you are going through and give them any information you have about PND. Your partner may also be

Can I prevent PND?

We don’t know. Some doctors may prescribe antidepressants immediately after the birth if you are at high risk of PND

Where can I find out more about PND?

Last reviewed: March 2013

References

Almond P. 2009. Postnatal depression: a global public health perspective.

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