Depression after childbirth: Can psychosocial and psychological treatment approaches help?
In some women, the “baby blues” they have after childbirth develops into clinical depression. Non-directive counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy can help relieve postnatal depression in many women.
Having a newborn baby involves making major changes in your everyday life. It's normal for mothers and fathers to feel unsure about their new roles and how their lives are changing. It can be a very emotional time. Many women have already heard about this period of emotional ups and downs, often called "the baby blues." But they may still be surprised how quickly their mood can change in the first few days and weeks after childbirth.
About half of all mothers have experienced the baby blues. It's usually strongest between the third and fifth day after the birth of their child. In most cases it goes away again within two weeks at the most. Emotional support and practical help is enough to help most women through this difficult time.
Some women develop depression in the first few months after having their baby, though, and need treatment for it. This is known as postnatal (or postpartum) depression and affects about 15 out of 100 women. That is about 3 times the average rate of depression among women of the same age group who have not just had babies. But postnatal depression often isn't diagnosed.