Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off one whole year of Unlimited learning. Subscribe for just £249.99 £174.99. New subscribers only. T&Cs apply

Find out more

Postnatal depression

John Sheehan explores postnatal depression in this video.

Becoming a mother and looking after a baby can be stressful and tiring. Maternal mental health problems are mental health issues that arise during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. They effect about one in five women.

Postnatal depression is the term used for depression that some women may experience in the first year after having their baby.

Postnatal depression can develop differently in each woman, for some, the symptoms start out as baby blues (which is a short period of depression soon after birth, which usually resolves within two weeks) and progresses into a longer-term postnatal depression.

Other women may experience a period of baby blues that resolves completely but have postnatal depression emerge at 4-6 months postpartum.

Women who experience baby blues after birth are more at risk of developing postnatal depression later on.

Up to 15% of women will develop postnatal depression within the first year of giving birth. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of postnatal depression. So that you can receive early diagnosis and treatment

In this video, John talks about the common symptoms of depression, some important considerations to encourage positive mental health, and how to seek help for postnatal depression.

We have included a list of support groups below if you need support for any of these issues.

John Sheehan
John Sheehan is a Consultant in Perinatal Psychiatry at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin and an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCD School of Medicine. He graduated in Medicine from UCD in 1980 and trained in General Medicine and Psychiatry in Ireland, Zambia and at Guy’s Hospital, London. His clinical and research interests include perinatal psychiatry, transplantation psychiatry, depression in the medically ill and alcohol use disorders.
John Sheehan
This article is from the free online

Women’s Health After Motherhood

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now