Post Natal Depression (PND)

Postnatal depression (PND), also referred to as postpartum depression (PPD) is a type of depression that can occur after having a baby. It is quite a common condition, affecting 1 in 10 women, and can happen at any time during the first year of giving birth.

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What Is PND?

PND is a serious and common mental health problem that can happen to mothers after childbirth. Although it affects new mothers, it can also impact baby and fathers as well. It normally occurs at some point in the first year of baby’s life and in severe cases can lead to psychosis, self-harm, and suicide, so medical and mental health treatment should be sought.


Although it is not fully understood, it is thought to be related to a combination of factors. For example, hormonal fluctuations, historic depression or other mental health problems, sleep deprivation, and social and emotional issues. Symptoms normally include low mood, sadness, apathy, anhedonia, guilt, irritability, worthlessness, hopelessness, and appetite and weight fluctuations.


PND is a serious medical condition and not a reflection on the mother and her capabilities as a mother. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms, it’s important to seek proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Are The Symptoms?

Mothers often experience a loss of interest in the activities they previous enjoyed.

Cognitive Difficulties

Women experiencing PND can also suffer with cognitive problems like difficulties concentrating, making decisions, and with memory.

Irregular Sleep & Sustenance

Due to all of the many changes that happen during the first year of baby’s life, mothers often experience changes in appetite or sleep patterns. This has a knock on impact on mood regulation and energy levels.


This can feel like a very difficult and lonely time, new mothers may feel judged and unable to cope. Due to these and other reasons, sufferers may withdraw from friends and family.

Low Mood

PND can create persistent low feelings, for example, emptiness, sadness, and/or hopelessness.

Mood Difficulties

Mood regulation becomes impacted for many reasons. This can create emotional and psychological difficulties. For example, irritability, depression, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, anxiety (including panic attacks), and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.

Problems Managing Affect

Sufferers may feel restless and agitated and find it difficult to relax or sleep.


Due to the toll of pregnancy, childbirth, the challenges of taking care of a new born, and depression (PND), new mothers can feel fatigued, and an overall lack of energy.

What Causes PND?
How Phinity Therapy Can Help
What Causes PND?

The Exact causes of PND are not fully understood but there are some factors that are thought to contribute to its development:


  1. Emotional stress: Having a baby can be overwhelming, and the pressure of caring for a new born while adjusting to a new routine and experiencing sleep deprivation can cause emotional stress and an inability to regulate mood.
  2. Hormonal changes: Giving birth results in a rapid drop in necessary hormones (oestrogen and progesterone). This can instigate feelings of sadness and mood swings.
  3. Lack of social support: Another factor for the development of PND is a limited or lacking support system, as this creates higher risk.
  4. Previous history of depression or anxiety: Women who have experienced depression or anxiety are more predisposed to developing PND.
  5. Life stressors: Other stressors in life (such as relationship difficulties or financial problems) can make women more vulnerable to developing PND.
How Phinity Therapy Can Help

Early professional intervention can lead to better outcomes for the management of PND symptoms. Treatment usually includes a combination of psychotherapy, lifestyle changes, medication, and support from family and friends. At Phinity we will want to understand how PND is impacting you, and the areas of your life that might be better optimised to support you through this time of incredible transition and challenge.


After conducting a thorough Initial Assessment we might suggest something like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This can help to identify negative thoughts and behaviours and develop coping strategies to manage them. Depending on your needs, we may integrate other talking therapies and also help you to instil lifestyle changes (for example paying attention to exercise, diet, supplementation, sleep, support network, and overall self-care) to improve mood and reduce PND symptoms.

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