Postnatal depression (PND) is estimated to affect at least 10% to 15% of mothers during the first year of having a newborn.

The baby blues or three-day blues, which commonly starts on day three and can overwhelm you with sentiment, tears and irritability but is gone by day 10. PND is a much deeper, more long-term depression. Actress Marisa Drummond shares her experience.

How would I know if I have PND?

If you feel that you are not the mom you thought you’d be, and suffer any of the symptoms below almost daily for more than two weeks, you might have PND. You could be feeling:

  • Weepy, sad and low.
  • Asocial rather than raring to get out there and see friends and family.
    Anxious and nervous.
  • Worthless.
  • Obsessed with your sleep and how much sleep you’re not getting.
  • Inadequate and incompetent.
  • Guilty because of all you’re feeling, versus how you’d imagined you’d feel.
  • Full of lethargy.
  • Lacking in enthusiasm and enjoyment.
  • Lacking interest in yourself and your baby.
  • Forgetful – perhaps you keep losing things?
  • Imagining that you could harm yourself or your baby.

What can I do about PND?

Once you know what you are dealing with, it is always easier to tackle issues. PND affects many women and is nothing to be ashamed of, so don’t keep this to yourself, but look for help:

  • Explain it to your loved ones so that they can support you.
  • Seeing a therapist can help you to work out the issues behind your PND.
  • Group therapy with other women who are grappling with the same issues can be comforting.
  • Antidepressant medication may be useful in treating the symptoms of PND, and it is recommended that you get the advice of psychiatrist for this.