General Article Postnatal depression (PND)

Topic Selected: Pregnancy Book Volume: 394

Postnatal/postpartum depression (PND) is not the same as the ’baby blues’. It is a mental health condition that needs treatment, so it’s important to ask for help.

What is the difference between postnatal depression and the baby blues?

Having the ‘baby blues’ after giving birth is very common. It usually starts in the week after you’ve given birth and stops by the time your baby is around ten days old.

Symptoms of ‘baby blues’ can include:
  • feeling emotional and irrational
  • bursting into tears for no apparent reason
  • feeling irritable or touchy
  • feeling depressed or anxious.

These are all normal feelings caused by hormone changes as your body gets used to not being pregnant anymore. You don’t need any treatment for the baby blues, but it can be helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling.

Postnatal depression is when you have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, guilt or self-blame all the time for weeks or months after you’ve had a baby. Some women have depression when they are...

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