10 things to know about postnatal depression and how to deal with it

Childbirth is not all sunshine and puppies. If there’s one thing that should convince you to seek help for postnatal depression (PND), it is that it affects the growth and development of your child adversely. It does not make you a bad mother and occurs quite commonly in new moms. So, please do not suffer in silence!

Awareness is the first step toward better health. Here are 10 things that you may find interesting about PND:

  1. It is not confined to a particular social or economic class.



Postnatal depression is not selective. It can affect the rich and the poor equally and is not race-specific or culture-specific, either.

  1. It may affect a woman any time during the first year after birth.


Postnatal depression can strike 24 hours after delivery or after several months of birth. The important thing is to recognize the symptoms quickly and seek help.

  1. It usually occurs after the delivery of the first baby, but it can occur after subsequent deliveries as well.



Postnatal depression does not run on a schedule; it can affect a woman of child-bearing age any time. Pregnancy is a risk factor; a woman may suffer from PND after each delivery.

  1. It can present with mild, moderate, or severe symptoms.



Symptoms can show up suddenly or gradually, usually in the first four months.

  1. You cannot brush off PND as just “hormones.”



It’s true that your hormones are all over the place during pregnancy and after childbirth. But PND is much more than hormones wreaking havoc.

It is a medical disorder that needs targeted treatment for it to resolve.

  1. Alcohol will not help you get over PND.


New mothers, especially breastfeeding women, should not drink alcohol since it can pass through your milk to the baby and affect his cognitive development. Don’t try to dull the pain or lift your mood by drinking yourself senseless. You will not feel better the next day!

  1. Exercising can help you feel better when you’re suffering from PND.



Exercising releases substances called endorphins in your body, which boost your mood. It may be really tough to get yourself going, but once you do, you will find that it does help to feel the sunshine on your skin. As a new mother, it may not be possible for you to step out alone. So take your baby out for a walk in the stroller–he’ll enjoy it, too.

  1. Talking to people about your feeling can really help.



It is true that our society makes it difficult for women to speak up about negative experiences surrounding childbirth. People are quick to judge and surprisingly, this includes other women as well.

However, the longer you delay treatment, the longer PND will stay. It may remain after the first year of birth as well.

  1. You will not necessarily be prescribed medication.


Good doctors attempt to treat you with other forms of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy or counseling. Only when the non-medicinal treatments do not work do they prescribe anti-depressants.

  1. Your partner needs counseling and support, too.


Often, partners of women suffering from PND are confused and frustrated. Their wives do not appreciate anything that they do and always find fault with it.

A good medical professional will include the partner in the counseling sessions because he should know what the problem is and what he can do to resolve it.

Online counseling makes it easier to get help because you don’t have to tell anybody else if you don’t want to. You can anonymously ask questions and receive professional guidance at AskMile.

Online Counseling Askmile