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Postnatal Depression (PND)

Postnatal Depression (PND)

This broad term covers a range of difficulties which can include low mood, poor quality sleep, low energy, poor appetite, tearfulness, pessimism and anxiety symptoms (excessive and inappropriate worrying). Many people experience mood swings in the early days after the birth of a baby (commonly referred to as the ‘baby blues’1) due to rapidly changing hormone levels, but these are short-lived.
PND describes more severe and prolonged symptoms lasting more than 1-2 weeks and interfering with the mother’s ability to function on a daily basis with normal routines of caring for the baby, herself and the relationship with her partner.

PND Symptoms

  • Pessimism
  • Loss of enjoyment in most activities
  • Loss of self-esteem and confidence
  • Loss of (or increase in) appetite and weight
  • Inability to sleep restfully (even when the baby in asleep)
  • Sense of hopelessness, guilt and being a failure or a ‘bad’ mother
  • Irritability
  • Loss of libido
  • Fears for the safety or wellbeing of the baby and/or the partner
  • Suicidal thoughts or ideas.

Treatment Information

As with the psychological trauma symptoms, PND is a condition that will require treatment. This will include counselling, and possibly medication, from appropriate mental health professionals. Partners may also need assistance. There are many useful online treatment programs. Discuss the situation with your GP (remember to ask for a long consultation).

For more information on PND, PANDA has developed a range of downloadable resources that are available on our resource page as Downloadable Guides or you can visit their website.

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