0625 GMT November 13, 2019
Postnatal depression is a type of depression that some parents experience after the birth of their baby, express.co.uk wrote.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), it is a common problem affecting one in ten women within a year of becoming a mother.
A number of celebrities have spoken about suffering, including Adele.
The condition is soon to be featured in ITV’s show Victoria, which charts the life of Queen Victoria.
She suffered after the birth of her second child and found motherhood difficult early on.
Postnatal depression can be mild or severe, and can come on gradually or suddenly, according to the NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents.
They have recently published research revealing that half of mothers experienced mental health problems at some time during pregnancy or within the first year of their child’s birth.
This can include postnatal depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum psychosis.
Additionally, 42 percent of new mothers’ mental health problems were not spotted by a doctor or another health professional, with only a fifth of women asked about their mental health.
Sarah McMullen, Head of Knowledge at NCT, said, “It is shocking that so many new mothers aren’t getting the help they need which can have a devastating impact on the women and their families.
“Some mothers aren’t being open about how they’re feeling as they’re terrified they’re going to have their baby taken away and others are not being asked about their emotional wellbeing at all.
“A third of women said their six-week check was rushed and for some, it lasted only three minutes.”
While women with postnatal depression experience the condition differently, there are some key symptoms.
These include feeling low or despondent, having an overpowering anxiety, feeling guilty about not coping or loving their baby enough.
Being unusually irritable and wanting to cry a lot.
Additional, sufferers may have obsessive or irrational thoughts, disturbing thoughts about harming themselves or the baby, and even thoughts about death or suicide.
People might also experience loss of appetite, comfort eating, having difficulty sleeping, headaches, having panic attacks and having difficulty concentrating.
Parents’ charity NCT is calling for an improvement to the six-week postnatal check-up to reduce the number of mothers who don’t get diagnosed and treated properly
NCT is urging people to sign up to the Hidden Half campaign at www.nct.org.uk/hiddenhalf to make sure all women get the help they need. NCT's helpline offers practical and emotional support in all areas of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood: 0300 330 0700.