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Baby Blues: Understanding Postnatal Depression

Baby Blues: Understanding Postnatal Depression

It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit weepy or a bit low after the birth of your baby. Remember, your body has been through a lot of changes and your hormones are all over the place. You are likely to be exhausted physically and emotionally. A new baby is a challenge for a woman of any age so ask for help when you need it.

Talk to your family and friends and accept their offers of help – time off from baby, help with shopping, a cup of coffee, a chat. Chatting to other mums who have had similar experiences sometimes helps. There may be a postnatal support group in some areas. If the ‘feeling low’ goes on a bit long – for more than 2 weeks – contact your GP or the Public Health Nurse as you may be suffering from postnatal depression and need some professional treatment. Remember, this is a very common condition that lots of mums (and even dads) get and help is available.

You could also log onto www.pnd.ie for an interactive website where you can chat online to other mothers and professionals who have an understanding of how you feel.

You can ring Aware, an organisation who helps those suffering with depression, on its LoCall number 1890-303 302 for support and advice about postnatal depression or visit their website at www.aware.ie.

There is a more extreme form of post-natal depression which is fairly rare, affecting 1 in 500 new mothers. If you feel extreme restlessness, mild confusion, inability to sleep, and generally out of it, medical intervention is vital. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Produced by TREOIR, The National Information Service for Unmarried Parents, visit www.treoir.ie for more information.

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