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New mothers ignoring signs of postnatal depression

Why are mothers keeping quiet about PND when it affects 10 to 15 percent of new mums?

Posted: 3 October 2011
by Emma Daly
woman with PND waits for doctor
Don't suffer in silence

A worrying trend is growing amongst new mothers as their feelings of depression, tiredness and poor bonding in the early months of birth are being left untreated. Thousands of mothers suffering from PND appear to be discouraged from seeking professional help due to the stigma attached to the condition.

In a study carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a third of women weren’t even aware that they were experiencing PND. Many others chose to ignore the signs, worrying that this would suggest they couldn’t cope with motherhood. The result is that many new mums are choosing not to speak about their depression for fear that their child may actually be removed from their care.

The charity 4Children has revealed that in England and Wales 35,000 mothers go through a period of PND after giving birth and around 60 per cent of these women do not realise that their condition warrants treatment. Yet, those that do choose to seek medical help are finding that they are quickly prescribed antidepressants or have their symptoms brushed off as being simply the “baby blues”. However, as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) has revealed, “Lack of support and isolation are often key causes” and as 4Children note, there is an “over-reliance” on antidepressants to fix the problem.

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PND, post natal depression, baby blues, new mum, depression, new baby,
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