The most important thing you can do is ask for help. Seek help early. The sooner you get help, the better you will feel. Talk to your partner, family and friends. Talk to your GP or public health nurse.

Be open about your feelings. This will help others understand what you need.

Other things that can help include:

Believe that you will get better

Postnatal depression can be managed with treatment. Trust that you will feel like yourself again.

Eat well and be active

Eat well and try and get some exercise. Choose nutritious foods that are not difficult to cook.

Ask family and friends to help you

Do not put too much pressure on yourself with housework and other chores. You may need to scale back other activities to focus on you and your baby.

Do not be afraid to ask for help. Ask people you trust to help you with practical things such as housework. Accept genuine offers to babysit and get out for a meal, the cinema or to visit friends.

Take every opportunity to rest

Try to sleep while your baby is sleeping. If you are breastfeeding, your partner or a friend can give your baby a feed using expressed breast milk.

Find time for yourself

Organise a daily treat. It could be a walk in the park, a workout or a coffee and chat with friends.

Spend time with people who care for you

Don't blame yourself or others. Set time aside for relaxing with your partner, family and friends. A kiss and a cuddle from your partner can be comforting, even if you don't feel like sex.

Meet other mothers

Find out what support networks are available in your area. These include mother-to-mother support groups, baby and toddler groups and Cuidiú-Irish Childbirth Trust groups.

Mothers in a similar situation can give you emotional and practical support. Your public health nurse may be able to give you details of support groups in your area. You can also find details online, in a local newspaper or at your library.

Support groups

Page last reviewed: 1 March 2018
Next review due: 1 March 2021