Postpartum Depression: What to Do If You Get It

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Mother sitting on the sofa in nursery feeling postpartum depression holding baby in her arms.

If you are struggling, know that you are not alone. (credit: Getty Images)

Bringing a baby home is one of life’s biggest milestones, but along with the excitement, there are nappies, adjusting the baby’s sick and sleeping schedule, and the realization that

If you’re a mom who is struggling, know that you’re not alone and it’s very common to have the ‘baby blues’, but if it goes on for a long time it could be depression.

Sleep deprivation, post-pregnancy recovery and complete life changes can all lead to one thing: irritation and sadness.

But even if sleep is on your side and your birth was relatively straight, many new moms can still feel an overwhelming crush of sadness after giving birth.

Days, weeks, and months can pass when you’re caring for your newborn, which can leave little time for you to do or do the things you love.

But what exactly is postpartum depression?

While the NHS says that postpartum depression affects one in every 10 women, it is important to watch for the signs and seek help as soon as possible.

Early symptoms include lack of energy, feeling tired all the time, hopelessness, trouble concentrating, difficulty bonding with your child, withdrawal, tears, and even frightening thoughts.

Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind, says a ‘perinatal’ mental health problem can be experienced at any time from being pregnant to a year after giving birth.

‘It could be a new mental health problem or an episode of a problem that you have experienced in the past. Examples of perinatal mental health problems include postpartum depression and postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).’

Postpartum depression can rear its head almost during the first year after giving birth, but some mothers can experience it when their baby hits two.

As with all mental health problems, symptoms and signs vary from person to person, but some common symptoms of postpartum depression include feeling low and tearful, hopeless about the future, and feeling guilty or worthless. It is possible These symptoms can change over different days or even weeks and there may be no specific pattern.

So what can you do if you’re experiencing postpartum depression?

stressed mother and her baby

Mothers can still experience postpartum depression when their child turns two (Credit: Getty Images)

Stephen Buckley says to start by seeing if your symptoms have been interfering with your daily life for more than a couple of weeks. If this is the case, it is important to seek help immediately.

‘Try and talk to someone you trust about how you’re feeling, such as a GP, friend or family member. Your GP may be able to suggest support groups for new parents in your area so that you can discuss your feelings with others going through similar experiences.

‘They may also refer you to services such as talking therapy, or offer you medicine.

‘The symptoms of perinatal mental health problems can change from day to day, so it can sometimes be difficult for your doctor to understand what you are experiencing and provide the right support.

‘If you don’t feel like you’re getting the help you need, you can bring it up with a health professional or bring someone you trust to your appointment for support. Huh. Alternatively, you may seek the support of a lawyer there.’

So is there a cure for postpartum depression?

In short, yes, there are many different treatments for postpartum depression and with professional guidance, these can be curated for your specific needs.

Talking therapy is popular with postpartum depression and having a weekly meeting with a trained therapist may help relieve and combat some of the depression.

Self-help can also work with doing things you enjoy such as watching movies, going out, catching up on sleep, and any other hobbies you often enjoy.

If your depression is particularly severe and prolonged, a doctor may recommend anti-depressants which can be given as a course or for a longer period of time, depending on the severity.

Can I try anything at home?


While this is probably the last thing you want to do, exercise has a huge impact on physical and mental health.

It can help with better sleep, self-esteem, mood and energy levels. You can start slow and try to walk for a while which will give the body some fresh air and movement.

And the best bit? If you don’t feel like leaving the house then you can always try indoors with some free workout videos online.

eat well feel good

When energy is low, cooking for yourself can feel complete, especially with a little one in tow. It may seem easy to just grab a quick snack or a few glasses of wine, but alcohol is a natural depressant that can often make you feel worse the next day.

If time is of the essence (hey, isn’t it always with a baby?) you can have some healthy instant meal boxes kit delivered to your door or freeze to prepare meals in batches, so you don’t have to. Have to cook only once and can make multiple meals throughout the week.

Plus, if you don’t have much cooking time you can always try something quick like yogurt and fruits or veggies and dips.


When you are low, self-esteem can hit rock bottom and feelings of isolation and sadness can be overwhelming. Talking to someone can really take the edge off things.

Whether it’s a trained professional or just a friend or loved one, even checking in with someone can lift your mood and be a little distracting.

While the NHS recommends talking to your doctor or midwife, you can also try out close friends or family or even an app like Peanuts, which connects you with new moms in your area to make friends. Is.

For peer support, NCT also has groups across the country and you can also try Home Start, in which volunteers come to your home, specially trained to help women in challenging times.

For more information about perinatal mental health, see Advice for How to Talk For information about your doctor and advocacy, you can visit or,

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