Postnatal Depression: Quick Facts and Links
This is published as part of a series of articles
looking at post-natal depression in Aotearoa New Zealand.
How Common is PND?
'Postpartum blues' is a transient condition that affects 30-80% of women after birth. Anything that does not resolve
within 10-14 days, is not 'baby blues', and may be a risk factor for PND.
The overall prevalence of clinically significant postpartum depressive symptoms is estimated to be between 7% and 19%.
Around a third of “postnatal depression” begins in pregnancy and around a quarter begins before pregnancy
Postpartum psychosis occurs after about 0.1% (1 in 1000) deliveries
Women with bipolar disorder are at particularly high risk of postnatal depression in the postpartum period, with around
half of deliveries followed by a clinically significant postpartum episode. — Sources: "Easily Missed
", British Medical Journal, August 2014; Ferguson, How to Treat Postnatal Depression
, NZ Doctor, 2007.
What to Look Out For
Low mood for at least two weeks
Significant unremitting tiredness
Increased anxiety (beyond a usual response)
Feelings of Worthlessness
‘Difficult baby’ (but some babies are difficult)
Low libido, anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure)
Reduced concentration, memory and cognitive function
Not enjoying your baby
Persistent thoughts of running away
— Sources: Ferguson, How to Treat Postnatal Depression
, NZ Doctor, 2007; 'Mothers Cry Too
', by Dr. Sara Weeks
Links | More Information | More Reading
: Supporting Mums Under Stress: www.mothershelpers.co.nz
List of Māori Health Providers
: (Ministry of Health website)
The Postnatal Distress Centre
(private practice): (www.postnataldistress.co.nz)
Post and ante-natal distress support group
, Wellington (PND Wellington): (www.pnd.org.nz)
Posnatal Support Nelson
Best Practice Journal, Special edition 'Depression in the antenatal and postnatal periods
Please add more useful links, particularly NZ-Aotearoa based, in comments.
Other articles in this series:
2. ‘But, I’m Not Depressed
‘ (screening, causes, treatments)
3. Finding Someone Who ‘Gets It
‘ (services, volunteering on the frontline)
Articles in this series were supported by a grant from the Scoop Foundation for Public Interest Journalism.
This investigative journalism project by Alison McCulloch was funded entirely by member donations to the Scoop
Foundation for Public Interest Journalism. If you want to see more quality public interest journalism like this please
donate to, or become a member of, the Scoop Foundation here
The Foundation is currently running a membership drive for October and has some great rewards on offer including a
multi-author book on the future of journalism in New Zealand.
Alison McCulloch will be interviewed by Kim Hill on Kim’s RNZ Saturday morning show at 9.05am on 22nd October, and that
interview will be subsequently available on the RNZ website.