As a new mother, you expect to feel a range of emotions, from joy to exhaustion, but what if you experience something more severe? Postnatal depression (PND) is a common and treatable mental health condition that affects many new mothers. In fact, studies show that up to 1 in 7 women experience PND in the year following childbirth.
But who is at risk of developing PND? In this blog post, we’ll explore 7 surprising facts about the types of women who may develop PND and why it’s important to seek help if you’re struggling.
- PND doesn't discriminate PND can affect anyone, regardless of their background, age, or socioeconomic status. It can impact women who have had easy, uncomplicated pregnancies, as well as those who have had more difficult ones. There is no way to predict who will develop PND, so it's important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
- It’s more common than you think PND is a common mental health condition, and it's estimated that up to 20% of women experience some form of depression during pregnancy or the postpartum period. Despite this, many women feel ashamed or embarrassed to talk about their symptoms, which can make it difficult to get the help they need.
- Hormonal changes can play a role The hormonal changes that occur during and after pregnancy can contribute to the development of PND. These changes can lead to feelings of sadness, anxiety, and irritability, which can be difficult to manage without support.
- It can affect new fathers too While PND is most commonly associated with women, it can also affect new fathers. Research suggests that up to 10% of new fathers experience PND, particularly if their partner is also struggling with depression.
- Women with a history of mental health issues are at higher risk Women who have a history of depression, anxiety, or other mental health conditions are at a higher risk of developing PND. It’s important for these women to receive extra support during and after pregnancy to help manage their symptoms.
- Lack of support can make it worse New mothers who lack support from friends, family, or healthcare professionals are at a higher risk of developing PND. It’s important for new mothers to have a support system in place to help them cope with the challenges of motherhood.
- It’s treatable PND is a treatable condition, and there are many effective treatments available. These can include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Seeking help early is key to a successful recovery.
If you’re struggling with PND, remember that you’re not alone. Many women experience this condition, and there is help available. Talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional to get the support you need.