Antenatal and postnatal depression are common conditions. One in seven mums and one in ten dads experience depression in the first two years after having a baby. One in 10 women experience depression during pregnancy.

Pregnancy and early parenthood are times of great change. It’s normal to feel emotional or overwhelmed from time to time, but if you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, it’s important to discuss them with your doctor or another health professional. Depression is an illness, and can be treated.

It is often very difficult for the person experiencing depression to recognise that they are unwell and reach out for help, so it helps for family and friends to be aware of the signs and symptoms as well.

Some of the symptoms that you may notice are:

  • feeling empty/teary/exhausted/overwhelmed
  • feeling guilty and inadequate
  • diminished pleasure and/or interest in activities (particularly those that you used to enjoy)
  • loss of confidence and self esteem
  • inabilitly to cope
  • sleep disturbance unrelated to baby’s needs
  • negative obsessive thoughts
  • change in appetite
  • fear of being alone
  • worrying about harming self or children
  • wanting to be alone, withdrawing from social circle
  • loss of concentration and memory
  • difficulty with decision making
  • crying for no reason
  • being irritable and moody
  • feeling negative all the time
  • thoughts of suicide or wanting to escape

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