World Maternal Mental Health Day
May 4, 2023
Drawing attention to essential mental health concerns of mothers.
Many women experience mild mood changes after having a baby. It is common to feel many different emotions. Over half of new mothers will have the ‘Baby Blues’. This usually starts 3 to 4 days after birth. You may have mood swings. You may burst into tears easily. You can feel irritable, low and anxious at times. You may also overreact to things. It usually stops when your baby is about 10 -14 days old.
Postnatal depression is the term used for depression that some women experience in the first year after having a baby. Symptoms of postnatal depression may start as baby blues and then get worse. The symptoms may take some time to develop. Postnatal depression may be most apparent when your baby is 4 to 6 months old. Postnatal depression can last for longer than three months. If not treated, it can last considerably longer. The earlier it is recognised, diagnosed and treated, the faster you will recover.
Postnatal depression occurs in 10% to 15% of women within the first year of giving birth.
Signs of postnatal depression
Postnatal depression can have a broad range of symptoms. These can vary in how severe they are.
You may be feeling sad, anxious and alone. You may be feeling guilty, irritable and angry. You may be experiencing panic attacks. You may not enjoy being with people, even your baby.
Other symptoms of postnatal depression include:
loss of appetite
tiredness all the time
Feelings and thoughts you might experience include:
feeling rejected by your baby
worrying a lot about your baby
Obsessive behaviour may be another sign of postnatal
depression and you may have overwhelming fears.
Help is available
Contact your midwife, public health nurse (PHN) or GP
Information Line freephone 1800 111 888, any time day or night
Samaritans' support services are available 24 hours a day for confidential, non-judgmental support.
Freephone 116 123, any time
A free, 24/7 service, providing everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through mental health or emotional crisis.
Free-text HELLO to 50808 to chat with a trained volunteer at any time.
Download our poster here to support women's mental health.
Parentline is a national, confidential helpline that offers parents support, information and guidance on all aspects of being a parent and any parenting issues.
Call (01) 8733500 or 1890 927277
Postnatal Depression Ireland
Provide support, help and friendship to those suffering from the effects of postnatal depression.
Phone (021) 4922083
Offers support to parents affected by the death of a baby around the time of birth.
Phone (085) 2496464
Irish Sudden Infant Death Association
I.S.I.D.A. offers support to families bereaved by the sudden unexpected, and often unexplained death of an infant or young child and others affected by it.
Phone (01) 8732711
My options - an H.S.E. Freephone line that provides free and confidential information and counselling to people experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
Freephone: 1800 828010