Post Natal Depression ‘higher than estimated’

The number of women who have suffered Post Natal Depression (PND) could be two to three times higher than was previously estimated, research has found.

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It is generally estimated that 10% of new mums suffer some kind of depressive illness – yet in a new study 20% of women said they had needed treatment for PND after giving birth.

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The survey by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) found the number of mothers of children up to 1 year old who have the condition is even higher – at 27%.

PND tends to develop when the baby is about 6-8 weeks old but can start sooner, especially if the mother was depressed while pregnant.

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Dame Karlene Davis, general secretary of the RCM, said: “Pregnancy is a wonderful life-changing event for some women but the transition to motherhood can trigger anxiety, severe exhaustion and depression.”

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