Most new mums have a touch of the baby blues immediately after having a new baby in fact 35% of women suffer from some form of post natal depression. It is a real worry for mums who have suffered from depression in the past and these mums need careful monitoring as they are more susceptible to this illness.
The sad thing is many mothers are not always aware that this is what is going on or how to deal with their feelings of despair or why they are not perhaps bonding with their child. The baby blues are very common around day five after having a baby and mothers become very tearful and may take things out on their partners, rest assured Dads this is likely to only be temporary and should soon pass. If you don’t see an improvement in your partner, talk to your health visitor and ask for additional support.
Post natal depression is a horrible illness and in some cases can become worse very rapidly. If as a mother you are having terrible thoughts or feel you may harm your baby, ask for help or visit your G.P or paediatrician immediately. You will probably be prescribed drugs to help; in rare cases you may need hospitalization until you are feeling better. You will not have your baby taken away from you unless it is felt you may harm yourself or your child. If it did happen it would only be for a short period or until you had sufficiently recovered, this is I stress rare however it does happen.
No mother wants to be separated from her child for whatever reason, however a vulnerable baby needs to be protected and if a mother is unable to cope with the crying or is not eating or sleeping it is easy to lose control. Baby blues is a much milder form of post natal depression and with family support and regular eating you should soon find things improving.
Having a baby is such an unknown quantity and we all wish for a healthy child however mums need to stay healthy or risk having to be looked after themselves as they claw back sleep and start to feel themselves again.
Common post natal depression symptoms include:
- Feeling lonely/hopeless
- Poor sleep
- Bad thoughts about yourself/ in severe cases harming your child
- Over/Under eating
If you know a new mum who does not seem herself, ask how you can help or allow her to catch up on some sleep while you mind the baby. If you see no improvement, tell their partner or a health professional and help protect her little child.