If a new parent does not feel the way she/he expected to feel during pregnancy or after having a baby it is very important that they talk to someone. It could simply be that she/he is having trouble adjusting to the changes in lifestyle that occur when a baby is born and to the demands that a new baby brings.
If her feelings are worrying her or stopping her functioning over time (eg more than 2 weeks) she may be experiencing postnatal depression (PND). PND is not something to be ashamed of, it's OK to talk about it. It should be seen as one of the many complications of pregnancy and delivery. With early identification/diagnosis, immediate access to PND specific services and accurate information women with PND do recover.
There also needs to be ongoing education of the community and health professionals about how to recognise PND, the impact of PND on family relationships and child development, and what's important for recovery.
Multiple approaches to treatment
The experience of PND is unique to each individual woman, caused by a unique combination of factors/stressors and presenting in a unique combination of symptoms. Treatment therefore needs to take many different forms and combinations, unique to each woman. It is important that her doctor is kept informed of her different forms of treatment and strategies for recovery.
Ideally treatment should address all aspects of her functioning - physical, psychological, emotional, social, spiritual - and be offered to her by services that understand PND and her needs for recovery