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Postnatal Depression – PND

What is Post Natal Depression (PND)

Post Natal Depression (PND) affects about 1 in 10 mothers in the UK, and can recur in 60% of future pregnancies. It is a potentially serious condition that usually develops 4 to 6 weeks after childbirth. When it occurs it can affect the mother’s baby bonding process and also have an impact on other family members, especially children, and the marriage overall. In its most severe form it can have devastating consequences and may be resistant to traditional medication with antidepressants or counselling.

What are the symptoms of Post Natal Depression?

Symptoms can include one or more of the following:

  • Feeling unable to cope, lonely, rejected, guilty, and/or tearful.
  • Lacking motivation and interest in your baby and/or yourself.
  • Poor mood for a week or more.
  • Experiencing poor sleep.
  • Headaches, blurred vision, and/or stomach cramps.

What are the causes of Post Natal Depression?

After delivery of the placenta, oestrogen levels fall, which can cause profound alterations in mood. The same effect is seen in women who suddenly lose oestrogen for other reasons such as removal of the ovaries, early menopause or post menopause. This also occurs pre-menstrually in many women where oestrogen levels plummet. The reduction in oestrogen affects mood by:

  • Increasing adrenaline surges (heart racing, palpitations, panic attacks, temperature regulation). If this happens at night time this reduces sleep quality (less deep sleep, more light, dreaming, restless sleep) and leads to acute and chronic exhaustion.
  • Decreasing serotonin (the feel good hormone in the brain). Seratonin is enhanced when oestrogen levels are satisfactory and reduced when oestrogen levels fall.

How can we help?

At the Surrey Park Clinic we are very familiar with the symptoms of PND. You will receive the understanding and support that you need. We aim to get your hormones balanced and get you back to feeling like yourself as soon as possible.

We recommend that you see one of our specialist gynaecologists who will do the following :

  • Carry out a consultation to discuss your symptoms.
  • Perform blood tests to check physical symptoms.
  • Fill out a questionnaire (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) to help identify post natal depression
  • Provide a treatment plan.

At the Surrey Park Clinic, our consultants are friendly and welcoming. If you think you may have Postnatal Depression (PND) we recommend that you have a consultation as soon as possible. Please call 01483 454 016 to arrange your appointment.