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26 November 2003

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression affects between 10 and 30% of mothers. It is different to the "baby blues" which only last a few days.

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Between 10 and 30% of all mothers suffer from postpartum depression. It can happen anytime after the baby is born, not only in the first few weeks after the birth. It can be mild or severe.

Postpartum depression is characterised by tearfulness, tiredness, feelings of helplessness and lack of self esteem or loss of libido. These feelings experienced in isolation are normal, but if felt simultaneously or for a prolonged period or time, it is important that you seek professional help.

You may need emotional support, professional counselling, medication or just simply help at home with your new baby. Do not suffer in silence - there is help available.

There is no single cause of depression. The mother’s hormones cannot be blamed as fathers may also suffer from post natal depression.

Postpartum depression is not the same condition as the “baby blues” which last only for a day or two.

 
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