Factors that may contribute to PND:

 

Biological

• Genetic predisposition to depression – have you suffered depression before?
• Sudden changes in pregnancy hormones following pregnancy
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Difficult or highly medicalised pregnancy or childbirth experiences
• History of pre-menstrual tension
• Previous experience of PND
• Family/personal history of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia
• Sleep deprivation

Psychological

• Infertility and use of IVF for conception
• Difficult or traumatic birth (perhaps involving unexpected interventions such as an emergency caesarean)
• Traumatic or abusive childhood (particularly sexual abuse)
• Unrealistic expectations of motherhood and of self
• Certain personality types (perfectionist or controlling)
• Limited social and emotional skills (difficulties in effective communication)
• Past unresolved issues of grief and loss such as previous miscarriage or termination

Social

• Lack of family and community support
• Problematic or unresolved relationship issues with own mother
• Difficult couple relationship
• Partner who is removed emotionally, works long hours or travels
• Intrusive or difficult family relationships
• Social isolation
• Financial hardship
• Lack of close friends, particularly families with children
• Moving house
• Lack of access to transport
• Being a younger or older age
• Stressful life events such as a death in the family or job loss