Postnatal depression symptoms to look out for

Most new mums experience the baby blues when bubs comes along in some form or another, but sometimes these feelings are more serious. We look at the some of the signs of postnatal depression.

It’s normal to feel emotional after birth - you’ve been through a massive ordeal, both physically and emotionally and your hormones are in overdrive! You’re also trying to adjust to a life that’s completely different to how it used to be.

Up to 80 per cent of mums experience the ‘baby blues’ during the first 10 days after giving birth. They can feel teary, anxious, irritable and have mood fluctuations. For most mums this will be short-lived, but if your baby blues last for more than two weeks or your symptoms worsen, you need to talk to your health professional as you might have postnatal depression.

What is postnatal depression?

Postnatal depression (PND) affects many new Mums after giving birth and is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, according to beyondblue, one in seven women will experience PND in their baby’s first year of life.

What are the postnatal depression symptoms?

It’s important to keep an eye out for the signs of postnatal depression and seek professional help if you’re concerned you may have postnatal depression.
Postnatal depression symptoms to be aware of include:
  • Crying regularly and for no apparent reason
  • Insomnia and sleep disturbance, unrelated to the your baby waking up
  • Irritability and prolonged anxiety
  • Inability to cope with daily routine
  • Negative obsessive thoughts, including about something happening to the baby
  • Fear of being alone
  • Feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and loss of confidence and self-esteem 
  • Disrupted appetite - a disinterest in food or anxious over-eating
If you’re concerned you show any of these signs of postnatal depression, speak to your doctor, as postnatal depression is totally curable, especially if caught early. 
couple with their baby

How can you monitor your wellbeing?

Sometimes you can be so caught up in the daily grind of caring for a baby that you forget to care for yourself, so the warning signs of postnatal depression may go unnoticed. 

Bupa’s mummatters online tool helps you keep track of your emotional wellbeing, flagging any potential issues you may wish to raise with your GP. The resource, which was developed in partnership with experts in perinatal depression and anxiety at St John of God Health Care and the University of NSW, helps you identify symptoms of  postnatal depression. 

Mummatters also provides tips and resources
to help guide you through your motherhood journey. 

What should you do if your partner has postnatal depression symptoms?

It’s important to provide emotional and practical support for your partner when bub arrives, especially in the early stages. You can find more information on how to support your partner and what to do if you recognise the signs of postnatal depression, here.

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