Who we help

Postnatal depression and anxiety

Postnatal depression (PND) and anxiety are types of depression and anxiety which are specifically experienced after the birth of a child. The official figure is that it can affect 10-15% of women in the first year after birth, however it is believed that it is actually much higher than this as many women do not come forward to seek help. Sometimes the depression starts during pregnancy, for others it does not begin until several months after the baby is born.

Having a baby is a huge life change and there are many factors which can lead to PND, these are just some of them:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Lack of sleep
  • Expectations not met
  • Traumatic pregnancy, labour or birth
  • Impact on relationships including romantic
  • Overwhelming sense of responsibility
  • Social isolation and lack of independence
  • Comparison to others
  • Body image changes

Symptoms of postnatal depression or anxiety:

  • Low mood, sadness
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Tearfulness
  • Self-blame or guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability or emotional highs and lows
  • Numbness of emotions
  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of interest in activities
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Distressing, unwanted or negative thoughts
  • Reduced concentration and decision making abilities
  • Sleep disturbance (unrelated to baby)
  • Feelings of hopelessness or thoughts about death or suicide

Examples of some common thoughts in PND:

  • Self criticism: “I’m failing”, “I’m a bad mother”, “I’m getting it wrong”
  • Confused thoughts: “Because I am frustrated does this mean I don’t love my child?”
  • Guilty thoughts: “I am a bad mum for feeling unhappy”, “I should want to be with my baby all of the time”, “I should feel constant rushes of love”
  • Worry thoughts: “My baby isn’t feeding enough”, “What if something happens to them?”
  • Comparisons: “Other mums find this easy”
  • Intrusive thoughts; distressing thoughts or images of harming child

Postnatal depression and dads

For an official diagnosis only women can experience PND, however it is thought that 1 in 4 men experience depression in the first year after a baby is born. Turning Point Talking Therapies is here to offer treatment to both men and women in the postnatal period.