Thousands are staying silent about postnatal depression

Lack of support and worries over ability to care for children means mothers are hiding their PND

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A staggering 35,000 mothers are said to suffer from some form of PND during the initial stages of motherhood and that’s just in England and Wales alone. Yet, studies have shown that the majority of these women are opting to keep their feelings to themselves, rather than seeking out professional help.

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The condition often surfaces as a general low feeling and noticeable difficulty doing small tasks. The 4Children charity reports that in a poll of over 2,000 mothers, a large motivator for their silence is a fear that they may be separated from their child if they admit that they are suffering with depression.

However, while it’s crucial that new mothers are encouraged to visit their local health professionals, there seems to be an increased reliance on prescribed antidepressants, even though as the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) insist “many women benefit from counselling and other forms of support”.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has revealed that postnatal depression affects around 10 to 15 per cent of women, with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow amongst the ranks of sufferers, demonstrating that the condition should not simply be brushed off as the ‘baby blues’.

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