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Digital Subscriptions > > BABY BLUES & FUTURE FERTILITY


A new study has shown that postnatal depression may affect a woman’s future fertility, highlighting the need for more awareness and support for new mothers.

The birth of a child ought to be a time of great happiness for a new mother, especially if the path to motherhood has been a particularly long and difficult one. For many women the experience is just that, with fatigue or frustration in the early days – sometimes referred to as ’the baby blues’ – almost wholly offset by the irreplaceable bond that develops between mother and child.

But for one in 10 new mothers, childbirth is followed abruptly by postnatal, or postpartum depression (PND). This debilitating and frustrating mental illness can cause new mums serious difficulties, but beyond that, can also have a negative impact on future fertility.

“I’d read about the baby blues, but about six weeks after he was born I knew something wasn’t right,” says 34-yearold Vicki, a personal trainer and mother to William, who is now four. “I was crying about 15 times a day and even the smallest tasks were overwhelming; I couldn’t be bothered to brush my teeth or shower, which is really unlike me. I just didn’t feel like me.”

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