What is Postnatal Depression?
Having a baby can be a joyous experience, if the parents have the coping mechanisms in place to support them. Without these coping mechanisms in place their emotions can quickly flip: positive emotions can suddenly become negative. If left unchecked these negative feelings can lead to postnatal/postpartum depression in women and postnatal depression (PND) in men.
Introduction to Postnatal Depression
Postnatal depression, also known as postpartum depression, is a type of depression that can be experienced by parents after the birth of a baby. It usually develops in the first 4 to 6 weeks after having the baby, but not always. It can develop later.
Postnatal depression, unlike any other form of depression, can be predicted. There are certain factors that you can assess in a pregnant woman’s, or her partner’s, life that will help you determine the likelihood that they will develop postnatal depression. Find out more about the causes of postnatal depression.
Around 50% of women will suffer from the baby blues after giving birth but for most of them it passes quickly. Baby blues is not the same as postnatal depression but can be regarded as a precursor to it. Baby blues often occurs around the fourth day after delivery of the baby and usually lasts a matter of days or up to a week. Only if it lasts more than two weeks is it considered to have developed into postnatal depression.
Postnatal Depression Statistics
- 10% to 15% of mothers will suffer from postnatal depression
- 1% of mothers will get psychotic depression that requires the intervention of a psychiatrist
- 10% of men will also be affected by postnatal depression
- There’s a 50% chance that if the mother suffers from PND the father will also suffer from PND
- 10% of women who have a baby will develop Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)