Supports for postnatal depression
Postnatal depression affects 10 to 15% of women within the first year of giving birth. The symptoms of postnatal depression sometimes start as baby blues and then get worse. For some women, the symptoms take time to develop and may be most obvious when your baby is 4 to 6 months old.
Symptoms of postnatal depression vary from person to person. You may have mild or severe symptoms. No matter what symptoms you have, there are supports available to help.
Supports for postnatal depression
If you think you are experiencing postnatal depression, it is important to ask for help. You can contact your public health nurse or call your GP anytime to discuss how you are feeling. If you do not feel up to calling your GP, you can ask someone you trust (such as a partner, friend or family member) to make an appointment for you.
Other organisations, including charities and parent support groups, are available too.
Some private health insurance companies include cover for counselling services under their mother and baby plans. Check with your insurer to see what is available to you.
Postnatal Depression Ireland
Postnatal Depression Ireland is a non-profit organisation that provides free information, support and friendship to women with postnatal depression. They also host coffee mornings and support meetings.
It can be contacted on 021 4922083, or 086 7872107. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cuidiú is a parent-to-parent voluntary support charity offering free information about postnatal depression. The charity also has parent-to-parent supporters who can chat and listen to you by email, phone or online. Find contact details for your local support worker on the Cuidiú website.
Parentline is a national, confidential helpline offering support, information and guidance on all aspects of being a parent, including postnatal depression. You can call them for anonymous advice on 1890 927277 or 01 8733500 Monday to Thursday 10am to 9pm, and Fridays 10am to 4pm.
If you need to speak to someone right away, call Samaritans for free on 116 123. This helpline is open 24/7, 365 days a year.
You can also contact Samaritans by email at email@example.com, or download the self-help app.
The Aware Support Line is a free helpline for anyone aged 18 and over. If you need support and information about your mood (or the mood of a friend or family member), you can freephone 1800 80 48 48 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
50808 is a free 24/7 text service, offering everything from a calming chat to immediate support for people going through a mental health or emotional crisis. The service is funded by the HSE.
Text HELLO to 50808 to start a conversation, or visit the 50808 website for more details.
Advice for family and friends
If you think someone you care about is suffering from postnatal depression, it is important to recognise the symptoms and remember that it is treatable.
You will need to provide lots of support, help and encouragement during this time. As with all illnesses, recovery may be slow and there will be good and bad days. Try to be patient and understanding.
The HSE has advice for partners, friends and families, or you can contact your GP for advice on how to help. The Nurture Health website also has information on how to support someone with postnatal depression.
Mind yourself too
Supporting someone with postnatal depression can be worrying and stressful. Remember to look after yourself during this time too.
Speak to your friends or family about how you are feeling, and ask them for help if you need it. Or, you can contact your GP to chat about any concerns you have.