During the first week after childbirth, many women get what's often called the ‘baby blues’.
Women can feel down or depressed at a time when they expect they should feel happy at having a baby to look after.
'Baby blues' occur probably due to the sudden hormonal and chemical changes that take place in your body after childbirth.
Many women suffer in silence. Their friends, relatives and health professionals don't know how they're feeling.
Postnatal depression usually occurs two to eight weeks after the birth, though sometimes it can happen up to a year after the baby is born.
Symptoms such as tiredness, irritability or poor appetite are normal if you've just had a baby. But these are usually mild and don't stop you leading a normal life.
When you have postnatal depression, you may feel increasingly depressed and despondent. Looking after yourself or your baby may become too much. Emotional signs of postnatal depression may include:
loss of interest in the baby
feelings of hopelessness
not being able to stop crying
feelings of not being able to cope
not being able to enjoy anything
memory loss or being unable to concentrate
excessive anxiety about the baby
aches and pains
For some moms these feelings pass in a few hours, for others, it can last a few days. Some even find the baby blues kick in a bit later when their babies are nearer two weeks old and they thought they’d escaped it.
But whenever it happens, it doesn’t mean you have post-natal depression. The ‘fog’ will usually lift by itself in a couple of days. In the meantime, get lots of support, reassurance - and cake - from your partner, family and friends.
Try to get as much rest as you can, and don’t turn down people’s offers of help because you feel you should be able to cope. Your body has just been through a huge experience, and it needs time to adjust. Be kind to it!
If you’re still feeling this way after a few weeks, it’s worth visiting your GP or talking to your health visitor, to make sure it’s not something more serious like post-natal depression.
Make cute photos with your little one, upload to the App. Write briefly about your mood and who helps you when needed.