From your health visitor to dedicated phone lines, find out the resources available to help you start coping with postnatal depression
Postnatal depression is more common than often thought, affecting around one in 10 new mums.
The symptoms vary and, in the sleep-deprived, hectic world of having a newborn, PND can be easy to miss. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of and there is support out there, so lean on the resources available to you.
Friends and family
Having a new baby is definitely a time to lean on your personal support network, whether it's for help or just a chat.
Chances are these people also know you best, so can spot if something is amiss.
Your health visitor
He or she is there to make sure your baby – and you – are both doing OK.
So, they’ll look out for signs of depression or that you’re struggling, be able to recommend local resources including support groups, and refer you to your GP if necessary.
You can go directly to your doctor or be referred by your health visitor. They’ll talk with you and work to diagnose what’s going on.
This may include a questionnaire (that your health visitor could use too) to gauge symptoms. It can be so daunting to open up, but it really can help work out the best next step.
Organisations and charities
There are charities that exist to raise awareness and support for new parents with PND.
Association for Post Natal Illness (APNI) has downloadable leaflets about the condition on its website, Pre and Postnatal Depression Advice and Support (PANDAS) has lots of information, while NCT and MIND also have dedicated sections. This also often includes advice for partners or family about supporting a loved one.
Many support organisations also run phone (sometimes text) lines, both nationally and regionally.
While the people on the other end often aren’t health professionals, they do have training and can support, listen and help you find the right advice.
MIND: 0300 123 3393
APNI: 0207 386 0868
PANDAS: 0843 28 98 401
Ask your GP, health visitor or search online for PND and new parent support groups in your area where you can talk and listen to people in a similar position.