Postnatal Depression

What is Postnatal Depression (PND)?

Postnatal Depression (PND) is a classified mental health condition and can be a factor in causing high morbidity and mortality. After the birth of a child many individuals assume that it is the most delightful and joyous time for the family as well as the mothers. In addition, individuals often believe that the mothers shall feel enthusiastic and happy during this joy time. But the reality is that there are some mothers who do not feel happy instead they feel unhappy and depressed after giving birth to an infant. Such depressing feelings causes a mother to feel less attached physically and emotionally with their other children and babies.  It results in lack of experience of attachment of a newborn and mother as compared to the babies whose mothers are normal. Additionally in severe situations, mothers might neglect their children and do not care for their babies like the mothers are expected to do. Moreover, there are mothers who get suicidal thoughts and in even more severe cases they may become hallucinated and delusional resulting in harmful and dangerous behaviours. There are numerous women who kill their own babies during this state of mind.

How Can It Be Treated?

This issue is difficult to treat and is considered to be a challenging issue. In spite of its prevalence, post partum depression is one of the most under diagnosed and misunderstood issue that a woman faces in her life time. Around 50 and 80 percent of new mothers will experience depressive symptoms of a mild form most specifically referred as baby blues or post partum. From a more serious post natal depression form a smaller number are reported to suffer. Current statistics show that around 17% of post partum women try to overcome depression. Due to lack of attention and social stigmas, diagnosis of post partum depression is not made formally and so it creates problems for the professionals of health care, and the definite numbers of women who suffer are likely to be higher.

Policy Documents

A number of policy documents on maternity care focuses on the importance of postnatal care for the long term health benefit of women. Symptoms of postnatal depression may begin in the antenatal period and subsequently published guidelines to be used by healthcare providers in depression detection. It was found that there is apprehension regarding the continuation of diagnosing, supporting, and treating women with postnatal depression although there are government documents and relevant literature, which give guidelines to aid healthcare professionals in these areas.