Post Natal Depression

1 in 10 women suffer post natal depression

Half of that number do not ask for help


Heading towards or already suffering Post Natal Depression - does this sound familiar?

  • Lack of sleep very quickly contributes to our inability to function properly and think clearly -
  • Lack of sleep, feeling anxious, ruminating, feeling numb and detached from our baby -
  • Difficulty bonding, (baby probably not very calm either), and now feeling guilty -
  • Guilty about lack of feeling for our baby, guilty about our feelings towards partner (who may have no idea of the extent of our distress) -
  • Feeling isolated and further distanced from a world that believes we are thrilled to be a parent.

This downward spiral can stop.  Post natal depression can start to be lifted quickly. 


Why Aren't Women Asking for Help with Post Natal Depression?

  • perhaps they don't recognise that what they are feeling is depression
  • perhaps stigma of depression and mental health problems prevents them from seeking help
  • perhaps the need to be 'in control', or the idea of being 'the perfect mother', feels like an admission of failure
  • perhaps they are concerned that social services may become involved                                                                                                                                                                                      

Post Natal Depression Symptoms

You may be suffering from some, although probably not all, of the following:   

  • feeling low and not understanding why - days feeling endless
  • feeling hopeless, inadequate, maybe feeling unable to get dressed or showered
  • feeling tired and lethargic
  • emotionally and physically numb - 'going through the motions'
  • feeling as if in a slow motion dream
  • not coping and feeling guilty about it
  • not bonding with baby, not interested in baby or lacking in feelings of love for the baby
  • feeling guilty about lack of feeling for baby
  • feeling aggressive towards baby
  • irritable, tearful
  • lack of appetite
  • poor sleep - either not getting to sleep, nightmares and/or waking early (around 4am) 
  • hostility or indifference to your husband or partner
  • loss of interest in sex
  • overwhelming sense of anxiety, maybe over quite small things
  • constant feeling of stomach 'churning', stomach pains, headaches
  • difficulty in concentrating or making decisions
  • panic attacks, which strike at any time, causing rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, feeling sick or faint
  • obsessive fears about the baby's health or wellbeing, or about yourself or others  
  • suicidal thoughts, or thoughts about death.

Thoughts about death can be extremely alarming, and you may feel as if you are going mad or completely out of control. You are not going mad. These thoughts are common and it's important to realise that having these thoughts doesn't mean that you are going to act on them, that you are going to harm yourself or your children, although this does happen very occasionally (see below).

Talk about your thought and feelings with someone you trust. Sharing these thoughts means that you are less to act on them.   


 Factors Contributing to Post Natal Depression

There are many factors contributing towards post natal depression.

Antenatally these may include

  • not feeling adequately informed by caregivers
  • caregivers creating unecessary anxiety ("it's a very big baby" - it may not be)
  • feeling under pressure (eg. induction)
  • feeling unsupported and unheard at home or by your caregivers
  • having to fight for the type of birth you want (home birth, water birth, a 'normal' birth)
  • not being believed
  • not wanting to be pregnant or have this baby

Going into and through birth

  • not being believed (repeatedly being told to "Stay at home. You're not ready")
  • starting birth or arriving at hospital already in a highly anxious or panicky state
  • induced birth (contractions abnormally powerful & painful, baby potentially distressed, requiring further interventions)
  • a long, exhausting birth or a short and very painful birth
  • birth plan not respected
  • the 'cascade of interventions' - (one intervention resulting in another until instrumental delivery or emergency c-section inevitable)
  • lack of privacy and dignity (labouring in a corridor for hours)
  • lack of respect by staff, lack of empathy (going through birth on an antenatal ward and husband sent home, so alone and scared for six hours)
  • inadequate pain relief (anaesthetists unavailable)
  • loss of control
  • being left alone for long periods
  • home birth requiring ambulance transfer to hospital
  • emergency c-section
  • ill-managed placental delivery
  • fear for baby's wellbeing
  • fear for own life 


  • lack of support: emotional and physical, both in hospital and at home
  • lack of support breastfeeding
  • emotional and physical exhaustion
  • previous trauma or phobic response
  • feeling out of control
  • feeling 'not good enough' or not reaching 'perfectionist' standards
  • shock of early parenthood
  • feelings of 'self' compromised
  • body changes/self image
  • life will never be 'normal' again 
  • shift in dynamics - relationships
  • hormonal imbalance

Previous Traumatic or Difficult Birth or Life Experience

A previous trauma when left untreated (including previous miscarriage, botched surgery, traumatic birth, abuse or any form of violence), is likely to lead to further traumatising and/or depression. Phobias relating to hospitals, such as needle phobias, if left untreated, will also increase the likelihood of further trauma. 

Our own childhood experiences can impact seriously on our perinatal wellbeing.  Any kind of separation or loss as a child can affect our present.  We may have buried the hurt or grief of that loss only for it to resurface at a later date.

Puerperal Psychosis or Postpartum Psychosis

A rare, but frightening mental illness, puerperal psychosis requires swift medical intervention.   Symptoms include paranoia, delusions - feeling one's baby is 'the devil'; halucinations; manic episodes, such as a desperate need to clean for hours; extreme mood swings and increasingly bizarre behaviour; suicidal thoughts.  

If you recognise this behaviour in yourself or someone you know contact your GP as soon as possible. We can provide support, alongside or following medical intervention.


Click here for more information on post natal post traumatic stress (PNPTSD)

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you relieve pnd. 

Please call Rosie Goode on 07806 994636 or click here to email us.


Effective therapy to release birth trauma . ante natal depression . tokophobia . post natal depression . PTSD . Support following miscarriage . stillbirth . emergency c-section . induction . forceps . ventouse . puerperal psychosis . Rosie Goode DHypPsych (UK) GHR . Cert HB Inst . NCT PNX&D . 07806 994636 . Throughout London & South East