Postpartum Depression Risks, Symptoms, And Treatment

Learn how I beat Depression

Postpartum depression is a form of depression that can affect new mothers within the first several months of birth.  It is a form of depression that strikes just as a new baby needs to be taken care of and when bonding between mother and baby begins.

It is not the natural sadness that some mothers feel following the birth of a baby.  This natural sadness is often mixed with feelings of joy and resolves itself within several weeks.  This postpartum disorder is something more.

Risk Factors

Any new mother can experience the postpartum symptoms of depression, but there are certain factors that seem to make this experience more likely to occur.  Previous bouts of depression mean an increased likelihood of depression postpartum.  As stated previously, this does not make the postpartum form of depression a certainty, but it does increase the chances of depression occurring.

Poor support from friends and family may contribute to the likelihood.  A sick baby could introduce an added element of stress that could increase your likelihood of depression postpartum, as could having a very stressful life in general.


Often depression symptoms are thought of as affecting an adult and those surrounding him or her, but in the case of postpartum disorders there can be a profound impact on the child, too.

The general symptoms include feeling sad, empty, and hopeless.  Anxiety may present itself in addition to these.  A loss of interest in life may occur.  Changes in appetite or sleep patterns may manifest.  An inability to concentrate is common as well.  All these symptoms interfere with the mother’s ability to provide care for and bond with the new baby.


The most common treatment is counselling services and antidepressant medication, much in the way that other types of depression are treated.  A mother who is considering taking antidepressants will want to discuss the effect that such medication might have on the possibility of breast feeding for the child.

The main thing a mother can do is to get professional help and to maintain her own health.  This means eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting regular exercise.  All can help facilitate recovery.

Postpartum depression strikes at an inopportune time to say the least.  There is no good time to be depressed, but the interference with caring for and parenting the new baby can be hard on both the baby and the mother.  By seeking professional help, this depression can be treated and life, both lives, can go on as planned.

Learn how I beat Depression


  1. Sylvia
    Posted August 14, 2010 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    Hi there all,
    I’ve only just discovered this website also. I’ve suffered various bouts of severe depression over the last ten years, with the worst one being in 2007, when I was off work for three months. I was slowly recovered then found out I was pregnant plus having to organise my wedding was difficult but I guess the old hormones kept me going!!
    Anyway, approximately 2,3 weeks beore my due date I got very tearful for no reason and so hence the Midwife got the Health Visitor involved………. I cant remember when I went back onto anti-depressants as I decided to come off them when I consulted with th doctor the pro and cons. As I was in such denial with having Post Natal Depression, I resolutely refuse to going back onto Post Natal Depression and it was the worst thing I could have done.
    I was a hermit, I coulfd barely cope, what a nightmare! The health visiting team were wonderful.
    However I did slowly but surely recover but it does take time, and I still have my ususal insecurity problems, very low moods from time to time and I still my my very black days especially yesterday.
    It was very weird but today I’m alot brighter- ( though I’ve through a difficult period at work where they want to move me to a another location and my partner was dismissed temporarily but reinstated afterwards last year. We are also trying to sell our house!!!)

    What I would say to Cathy- (April) is that you’re going through a tremendously difficlt time and yes you are right to get the Union involved. It is horrendous as you have to try and cope but it is hard isn’it.
    Anyway I would love to set up a local group or something to help other with depression or post natal depression – it would be so so satisfying.

    Many regards, Sylvia Owen

  2. Cathy
    Posted August 20, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Sylvia, keep your chin up : ) I’m doing well. Still on my medication, but feel great. I have also joined slimming world & know that will really help me – as extra weight is no good to anybody. I’m back in work (I did have no option, but at least I have a job, and no job would be worse!.)I am slowly getting there, still have my bad days, byt have more good days, which I’m really thankfull for. Good luck with setting up your network. It sounds a good idea. Also, good luck with the house move xx Wishing you happy thoughts & many good days xx cathy

  3. Lisa Ryan
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    I too just discovered this site I too am suffering pnd and accepting that has been the hardest part. I am a strong confident woman with a job in retail management . I have two beautiful children and a lovely husband . My first bout occurred when I took an overdose as a teenager the only regret I had then was that my attempt failed. I put it behind me and went on as if nothing happened. I then went on to achieve academically professionally and personally, I don’t do failure well and put myself under pressure to be a success. I seemed to have it all until my little boy began school and I fell apart. I could not eat sleep go outside or watch tv. It was a struggle I took the alternative route natural meds walks and counselling I gave up alcohol but after 6 mths I had to take medication ,
    As I got better I returned to work reduced meds and felt ok.
    Last yr I gave birth to a beautiful girl who was much adored I breastfed and again felt all was good until she was 4 mths and pnd returned with a bang. Life is a struggle but doing my best really glad to discover this site.
    Lisa x

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