Understanding postnatal depression 

Understanding Postnatal Depression: A Guide for New Parents

Postnatal depression (PND), also known as postpartum depression (or sometimes perinatal depression), is a type of mood disorder that can affect both mothers and fathers after the birth of a child. It’s a complex mix of physical, emotional, and behavioural changes that happen in some women and parents after giving birth. PND is recognized as a significant health issue that can have long-lasting effects on the wellbeing of the entire family.

The Symptoms of Postnatal Depression

The symptoms of PND can vary from person to person but often include:

– Persistent sadness or low mood

– Lack of enjoyment and loss of interest in the wider world

– Lack of energy and feeling tired all the time

– Trouble sleeping at night and feeling sleepy during the day

– Difficulty bonding with your baby

– Withdrawing from contact with other people

– Problems concentrating and making decisions

– Frightening thoughts – for example, about hurting your baby

The Causes of Postnatal Depression

There is no single reason why some new parents develop postnatal depression, but it’s likely to be the result of a combination of factors, including:

– The physical changes from childbirth

– The emotional impact of becoming a parent

– A lack of support

– Previous experience of mental health issues

– Stressful life events

Treatment and Support for Postnatal Depression

Treatment for PND can include self-help strategies, therapy, and medication. It’s important for anyone suffering from PND to seek help and support as early as possible. Here are some steps to consider:

– Talk to your doctor or health visitor

– Connect with other new parents

– Consider therapy or counselling

– Look into medication options if necessary

– Prioritise self-care

Postnatal depression is a serious condition, but with the right support and treatment, it is possible to make a full recovery. It’s essential for new parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of PND and to seek help if they are struggling. Remember, you’re not alone, and help is available.

If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of postnatal depression, please reach out to a healthcare professional for support.


If you feel you need some face to face support please come along to one of our drop-ins where you can chat to one of our breastfeeding counsellors or amazing volunteer peer supporters. We can point you in the right direction and help you get the support you need.