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Getting help - Postnatal depression

If you think you may be experiencing postnatal depression, ask for 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 (PHN).

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

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 nutritious food and get physically active. This improves mental health. You don’t have to do demanding exercise. Even going for a walk daily will help. 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.

Perinatal mental health services

Perinatal mental health services are available in some maternity units and hospitals. They provide specialist support to women experiencing mental health problems in pregnancy.

Your GP, midwife, doctor or psychiatrist can refer you to the service.

Support groups

24hr listening service
Phone: 116 123

Phone: 01 873 3500

Cuidiú-Irish Childbirth Trust
Phone: 01 872 4501

Phone: 1800 80 48 48

Phone: 0818 474 474

Page last reviewed: 26 April 2023
Next review due: 26 April 2026