After the birth of their baby many women feel sad or anxious; this is called the “baby blues”. The baby blues happen in the days just after the birth and usually only last for about a day or up to a week. Most women who feel this way have had no problems and have a healthy baby so it is not caused by a bad experience.
For a smaller number of women these feelings become depression.
Postpartum depression can start days or months after the baby’s birth and the feelings of sadness are worse than with the blues. This may only get better with treatment so it best to talk to your GP or midwife.
In some women depression and anxiety starts before the birth and it is important to tell someone if you are feeling this way.
Your family doctor and midwife will ask you some questions every now and again about how you are feeling. There is a service called Maternal Mental Health which specialises in helping women around pregnancy.
Some women are taking or need to take medication while pregnant and/or breastfeeding. There are a number of medicines which are known to be safe to use at this time. It is important to never just stop anti-depressant medicines and to take advice from your doctor before you do.