In the three days following childbirth, most women experience a ‘high’ where they feel happy and excited and may have difficulties sleeping. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Pinks’. However, some women feel a sense of anti-climax and may even be indifferent to their new baby initially. Generally, all these feelings are normal and pass in a matter of days.
The ‘Baby Blues’ can affect about 85% of new mothers. They normally start around the third day after childbirth and last for a few days. Baby Blues are characterized by mood swings and irritability and are generally attributed to hormonal changes and tiredness.
Antenatal depression affects about 10-15% of women in the first three months of pregnancy – particularly if there are marital problems or doubts about having a baby or perhaps if depression was pre-existing prior to pregnancy. Most of the symptoms normally clear as the pregnancy progresses.
This is a serious and rare illness, which affects about 1 in 1000 women and begins in the days or weeks following childbirth. It is a medical emergency and help should be sought as soon as possible.
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If there is an underlying illness such as Bipolar Disorder, pregnancy may be a precipitating factor.
Depression is treatable and is not a sign of weakness. It is important to seek help & support as soon as possible.