Around 1 in 10 mothers develop postnatal depression. It can also affect fathers and partners.
If you think you may be depressed, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible. Your symptoms could last months and have a significant impact on you, your baby and your family.
Many women feel a bit down, tearful or anxious in the first week after giving birth. This is often referred to as the “baby blues” and is so common it would be considered normal. These feelings should last more than two weeks after giving birth.
If these symptoms do stay around or start later, you could have postnatal depression. It can start at any time in the first year after birth.
Some of the signs that you or someone you know might be depressed could include:
- a persistent feeling of sadness and low mood
- lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world
- lack of energy and feeling tired all the time
- trouble sleeping at night
- difficulty bonding with your baby
- withdrawing from contact with other people
- problems concentrating and making decisions
- frightening thoughts – for example, thinking of hurting your baby
Many women will not realise they have postnatal depression as it develops gradually.
You don’t have to struggle alone in the hope that it will go away, a range of support is available. It’s important to remember:
- depression is an illness like any other
- it’s not your fault – it can happen to anyone
- being depressed doesn’t mean you are a bad parent
- it doesn’t mean you are going mad
- your baby won’t be taken away from you – babies are only taken into care in very exceptional circumstances
The Mums Wellness Project is available throughout all areas in Co. Fermanagh. You can access the service by referring through the Fermanagh Support Hub via your:
- Health visitor
- Self refer by calling 028 6632 4181
on occasion a Waiting List may be operational
For further information, contact Ursula Meehan on 07720594983 / 028 6634 0087 or drop her an email.