Joanne Birtwhistle, Midwifery Sister, The Portland Hospital
Q. I’ve just had a baby and I am feeling lonely and isolated. Is this Postnatal Depression?
A. Having a baby is a life changing experience and while it brings feelings of happiness and joy, it can also bring about a period of emotion and tearfulness which can be unexpected. This is what people refer to as “baby blues” and this can occur 3 or 4 days after the birth and can resolve itself after a short time. Women experience feelings differently; from anxiety to guilt, and this can make you feel lonely and isolated. It is important to know that this doesn’t last long. If however, these feelings continue then this can develop into postnatal depression. 1 in 10 mothers can experience postnatal depression and it can come on suddenly or develop slowly over time. It is important that if this does happen that it is recognised. Seek help as early as possible and talk to a health professional, GP or family and friends so that you feel supported and understood.