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Friday, March 19, 2010

Postpartum depression

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression is an illness that you can get after having a baby. It's just like depression, which you can get at other times. But it comes at a time when you are expected to feel happy. If you get postpartum depression, you may find it hard to enjoy being with your baby and find it difficult to care for him or her.

Postpartum depression nearly always gets better on its own. But if the depression goes on for a long time, you may not bond properly with your baby. And your baby may not develop as well as he or she should. There are treatments that may help you feel better faster. So, it's important to see your doctor and get treatment early.

Key points for women with postpartum depression

  • It's normal to feel low, irritable or anxious for a few days after your baby is born. But if these feelings don't go away or they get worse, you may have postpartum depression.
  • Postpartum depression is common. About 10 to 15 in every 100 new mothers get it.
  • Postpartum depression is an illness. It is not a sign that you don't love your baby or can't look after him or her properly.
  • There are lots of treatments that may help.
  • It's important to see your doctor early on. The sooner you get help, the sooner you are likely to feel better and start enjoying being a mother.
  • If you have strange thoughts and feelings about your baby, or hear or see things that aren't real, you may have a more serious illness called postpartum psychosis. You will need to be looked after in the hospital.

What's normal after having a baby?

To understand what goes wrong in postpartum depression, it helps to know a little about what feelings are normal after you have a baby…

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