It’s a scandal that so many mothers with postnatal depression are abandoned

Postnatal depression – would you recognise it? I didn’t. I thought I had a fairly good understanding of how these things manifest themselves in women, until my own pregnancy proved otherwise. What followed was not smiles and love, but a growing emptiness consuming my world from the inside out.

Looking back, I can see how conspicuously absent discussion of such emotions is from our preparation for motherhood. The fact that we don’t know enough about postnatal depression, and rarely acknowledge the mental health implications of starting a family, means it’s hard to spot – in ourselves and in the women we know and love.

But a new study by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has found that 81% of women surveyed had experienced at least one episode of a mental health problem during or after their pregnancy – and only 7% of women with pregnancy-related mental health problems, such as postnatal depression, received they specialist care they needed.

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  • helvella,

    I suffered unrecognised postnatal depression with my first child.

    With my second I knew I was again being visited but the darkness wasn't so severe and with family and economic circumstances improving, I was able to believe things would improve and they did must faster.

    I again suffered depression last year with changes of thyroid meds and unbalanced sex hormones but recognising it straight away, I was able to work through it with close family support from those children who had instigated the first round all those years ago.

    I think starting a family is a big enough change and many are unprepared but with the present of possible undiagnosed Hashimoto antibodies going berserk during the pregnancies and having no understanding of what is happening, it makes us fall faster.

    Establishing a close bond with its parents is crucial for a baby's future wellbeing but sadly many parents are unable to fulfil these expectations.

  • It is more than a scandal when 81% complain and only 7% receive the specialist help they need. Hypo can appear for the first time after childbirth.

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