The time after childbirth can be an extremely difficult time, there is often an expectation for the mother to be filled with joy and love for her new baby. However, this is not always the case. Tiredness, hormone changes and the demands of looking after a new baby can feel overwhelming. Due to the intense demands and changes a new baby brings, a new mother can be particularly vulnerable to an episode of depression. Common feelings include, feeling unable to cope with simple day-to-day tasks, feeling as if you have messed things up and are not a good mother, or that everyone would be better of without you. New mothers often experience low episodes and extreme tiredness in the weeks and months following childbirth, and this can be a normal part of motherhood. A good indication that you may be suffering from depression is if you are unable to sleep even when you are tired, or start to feel anxious in situations that previously felt fine.
If you experience disturbing thoughts, such as harming yourself or your baby, this can be very frightening and can feel as if you are out of control, or going mad. Feelings like these can be hard to talk about and you may feel afraid to tell anyone. It is important to realise that having these types of thoughts does not mean you are going to act upon them. However difficult it is, talking to someone and bringing these feeling out into the open can help. Often, unresolved past issues can resurface after having a baby, this can seem confusing and unexpected. Keeping things to yourself can make things worse, try to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Talking to a professional can help to make sense of what you are going through. You are not alone, postnatal depression is very common and is nothing to be ashamed of.