A study carried out by Mumsnet and ITV News has revealed that almost a third (29%) of mums in Britain who have experienced postnatal depression were too scared to seek professional help.
The main reason new mums won’t seek help is because they don’t think their symptoms are bad enough to warrant medical help (81%). This was closely followed by 72% of respondents who sadly felt that they would be letting their family down by allowing themselves to get ill. Three quarters of those who wouldn’t seek help said that they were worried that if they did, it would raise concerns about their ability to care for their child.
Out of those who have experienced postnatal depression, 87% said that they felt there is still a stigma attached to the illness and more than half said this is why they didn’t want to seek help for it.
When asked about what they thought contributed to their illness, 65% cited the pressure to be the perfect mother and 56% attributed a bad or traumatic birth. Half of those surveyed said it was their own expectation that they would breastfeed and 48% said it came from a difficultly establishing breastfeeding.
Approximately 46% said the pressure to bond with their baby and feel an overwhelming love for it contributed towards feelings of postnatal depression.
Out of those who did seek help or even just researched the topic, most found emotional support through friends, their partner, websites or their GP.
If you think that you could be suffering from postnatal depression, please feel free to visit our Postnatal Depression Knowledge Centre which has more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments that are available.