Over half of new mothers will experience the ‘Baby Blues’, which start usually 3 to 4 days after birth and lasts usually a week. Women may have mood swings, burst easily into tears, over-react to things and feel irritable, low and anxious at times. Baby Blues do not require treatment, however, sometimes they can mask a postnatal depression. Baby Blues lasting longer than two weeks should trigger professional screening for postnatal depression.
Perinatal mental health illness is common. Up to one in five women and one in ten men are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year after birth. Unfortunately, half of these cases remain undiagnosed and without appropriate treatment, which can have long-lasting consequences on not only women, but their partners and children too. Adequate early diagnosis and prompt professional help could reverse the negative impact of the mental health problems.