This website uses cookies to ensure the best possible experience for you, the visitor. Find out more about cookies and how they relate to this website.

A parent to parent voluntary support charity

Post Natal Depression

For many, having a baby is the best experience of your life, for some it is not.....

What is Postnatal Depression (PND)?

It is an umbrella term used to describe a range of symptoms which may be Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Behaviour or Post Natal Stress Disorder.

It is more than just The Baby Blues…


The Baby Blues

Baby Blues are low moods which kick in about day two after birth and usualy lasts only a couple of weeks. Almost 80% of Mums experience moods of teariness and feeling low or mood swings shortly after childbirth (after all it is a big deal - you've been through a lot!). Experts say 'Baby Blues' can be expected and these low feelings usually fade away after a few weeks.


Postnatal Depression

Postnatal Depression symptoms persist for much longer.  PND can vary from mild symptoms for some, to very severe for others and symptoms can continue for several months or much longer.
Typical symptoms are similar to those of depression at other times. You may feel low all the time and have reduced energy levels, feel anxious or stressed and possibly have distressing thoughts.
If you're severely affected, you may even feel that life isn't worth living or have thoughts about harming your baby. PND is common common, affecting between one and two out of every 10 mothers. It usually affects women in the first year after their baby's birth but you may also have experienced depression before having your baby.


How do I get help for Postnatal Depression?

Research shows that talking, getting support can considerably reduce the effects of PND symptoms. That is why Peer support is so helpful. See the Parent Supporter Page for contacts

Here is what the HSE suggests to do if you are feeling low or think you might have Postnatal Depression.
1.Tell somebody that you feel low. Often just talking and knowing that someone is there to help, can ease your feelings of depression.
2. If you feel you cannot cope, tell your partner, close family member or friend that you need some help.
3. Self help:

• Plan extra rest and relaxation including time away from the baby.
• Eat well, a little and often even if not hungry.
• Exercise regularly; even a short walk is helpful.
• Don’t try to do everything yourself, it takes up too much energy.
• Learn to recognise your needs and ask for help.
• Find ways to be kind to yourself, treat yourself.
• Try to speak openly to your partner about how you feel or how he or she might help.

4. If the symptoms last longer than seven to ten days, talk to your Public Health Nurse, Family Doctor or Hospital Doctor about how you are feeling. They are there to help and support you.


How can I support someone wth Postnatal Depression?

It is important to remember that they are coping with a very distressing illness and may not be able to tell you what they need from you right now.  But in our experience there are many things you can do to help and support. These are just a few suggestions which you may bear in mind when supporting someone who is feeliing low or may have PND,

Show them you care without stiffling them
Offer practical help and support in daily routines
Be aware of your attitude to illness, take their feelings seriously
Encourage to help with the baby but don't force things
Long periods of alone time are not good now, talk and offer lots of encouragement - it always helps
Choose your words carefully and avoid making comparisons to others
If possible allow them to let off steam.

If you want further information please contact us on

If you would like to attend a support coffee morning  or would like to speak to a Cuidiu Parent Suporter - Click here for contact details of our Parent Supporters.


Links to other Supports, Resources and Information sites for Postnatal Depression;

HSE web site - Postnatal Depression

HSE Brochure for 'PostNatal Depression - A guide for Mothers, Family & Friends' (2010) - Suport service for people experiencing depression.

PND Ireland - A web site and support group dedicated to postnatal depression

Nurture PND - is a suport and counselling service surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.

Follow this link for 40 tips for Mental Health from the Psychological Society of Ireland.