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Explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues, including possible causes, sources of treatment and support, and advice for friends and family.
It may be difficult, upsetting and frustrating to live with, or be close to, someone who is experiencing a perinatal mental health problem – but it's important not to blame them for how they are feeling.
Some people who experience perinatal mental health problems may be reluctant to ask for help, out of fear that they might be judged as a bad parent or that it will result in their baby being taken away from them.
So it can be really important for you to reassure them that many people have these experiences, and that they can get better.
You might worry that you're intruding on a private time for their family, or that your loved one might not feel able to ask for your support – but it's always worth offering. You could:
"It took at least a year for me to overcome my post natal depression, and nearly resulted in the breakdown of my relationship."
The best way to find out what your loved one needs is to ask them. However, if they feel very low, they might find it difficult to make suggestions. You might want to offer to:
Asking for help can be a daunting prospect, and even more so if you're worried that you might be judged as a bad parent.
This information was published in July 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
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