|Laura with Clock © Richard Ansett 2014|
Postnatal depression is a depression that some women experience after having a baby.
It can develop within the first six weeks of giving birth, but is often not apparent until around six months.
Postnatal depression is more common than many people realise, affecting around 10 to 15% of women after having a baby.
Teenage mothers are particularly at risk.
Postnatal depression can sometimes go unnoticed and many women are unaware they have it, even though they don't feel quite right.
The symptoms of postnatal depression are wide-ranging from low mood, feeling unable to cope and difficulty sleeping to indifference towards the baby, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Mood changes, irritability and episodes of tearfulness are common after giving birth but these symptoms are often known as the "baby blues" and they usually clear up within a few weeks. However, more persistent symptoms can be postnatal depression.
Some women don’t recognise they have postnatal depression, or they choose to ignore their symptoms because they’re afraid of being seen as a bad mother.
It's very important to understand that postnatal depression is an illness.
If you have it, it doesn't mean you don't love or care for your baby.