Becoming a parent brings a wide range of emotions, ranging from joy to excitement to stress and apprehension. The physical changes you go through can also affect your mood and feelings, and it's common to experience more ups and downs than usual - check out common symptoms in the bullet points below. But depression is more than just a low mood - it's a serious condition that affects your physical and mental health. Untreated, it can affect not only you but also the people around you - your loved ones and even the baby's own development. Around 10-15% of new mothers will experience postnatal depression. It can range from being relatively mild to very severe but it is also a very treatable illness if you get the right help.
We know that talking about how you are feeling can often be very difficult, however, there is help out there. You do not have to feel like this. We hear that women often worry that they will be judged or seen as 'not coping', but health professionals are aware of how common depression can be during the perinatal period, and are able to support you and your family. There will be a range of treatment options open to you - Have a look in the 'what helps' section below.
Symptoms to look for in ante and postnatal depression might include (but are not limited to):
Note: - some of these experienced - like lack of concentration, disturbed sleep and lack of interest in sex - are all common after becoming a parent, but it's still important to mention them to your doctor if you're concerned you might have postnatal depression.
If you experience any of the following symptoms (known as "Red Flag symptoms"):
Then you need urgent referral to a specialist mental health team.
Need help right now?
Want to talk to someone?
- North East Hampshire
- Southampton and Dorset
- Isle of Wight
Want to find support on social media, apps or online?
Want to read more about it?
Medication such as antidepressants can be helpful for treating moderate to severe depression. Have a look at our page on medication by clicking here. [LINK TO NEW MEDICATION PAGE NEEDED].
Content adapted from MIND.