Belfast Telegraph

Wife’s post-natal depression has me worried sick

Fiona Caine is here to help if you have a relationship, sexual, marriage or family problem.

Our baby was born six weeks ago and although my wife seemed fine to begin with, within a few weeks she was weepy and tired all the time.

My mum thought it was just a case of baby blues and that it would pass but, if anything, it’s got worse.

Some days, she only gets out of bed to feed the baby and go to the loo.

She says she’s not coping but the baby seems fine to me and seems to be perfectly happy.

My wife bursts into tears at the slightest thing and keeps saying she feels so guilty but I just don’t know what to do for the best.

I suppose I should take her to the doctor but when I suggest it, she says she’s fine and there’s nothing anyone can do anyway. GN

FIONA SAYS: CONTACT THE ASSOCIATION FOR POST-NATAL ILLNESS

‘Baby blues’ is a mild, short period of depression that affects lots of women, usually within a week or so of giving birth. Anything that lasts longer than this could well be a case of post-natal depression and that definitely needs medical intervention.

Some 10% of mothers experience post-natal depression so severely that they need out-patient psychiatric help and/or drug therapy.

Your wife should not go on suffering depression like this in the hope that it will go away by itself.

Post-natal depression is a real illness that can be treated successfully with the right kind of help.

The Association For Post-Natal Illness (APNI) provides support for women going through the condition.

APNI has a national network of phone, email and postal volunteers, who have all recovered from post-natal illness.

The most important thing, though, is for your wife to visit her GP and to recognise that she has a medical problem for which she can get help.

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