Be self-aware and check in and notice how you are feeling every day. Be careful not to become too obsessional about it, but make a note of what and how you’re feeling, that way you can measure any low days and share with your health professional

Confide in someone you trust about how you’re feeling, it really can help in relieving some of the burden

Seek out like-minded people and support groups, there are lots available such as PANDAS Foundation and your health visitor will hopefully be able to suggest a local support group if you need it

Don’t suffer in silence. How are you are feeling is very personal to you but nobody chooses to have postnatal depression. Accept that you need extra help and support, and take any pressure, guilt and blame off yourself

Get out and about. A huge part of postnatal depression is to hibernate, but it is proven to improve your mental health by getting outdoors, and getting fresh air and some exercise each day

Take time for yourself. Ask for friends or family to help look after the baby for a short while whilst you do something just for you. The complete break will give you a chance to rest and recharge

Don’t measure yourself against anybody else. Just because you have a baby it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be or will be full of the joys of spring, but reassure yourself that with help, support and time you will get through the bout of depression and sunnier times will come

Take time to bond with your baby. Skin to skin, having a bath together, or just lying on the bed together and having some uninterrupted one-to-one time can really help to boost those feel-good hormones

Talk to your health visitor and doctor and ask what support is available for you, there are plenty of things that you might like to try such as therapy, relaxation techniques, or even medication if necessary

Take your time. Postnatal depression can sneak up on a new parent quite unexpectedly, and it can either leave as swiftly as it came or perhaps linger a little longer. Be kind to yourself and don’t rush getting better.

Article by mind coach, counsellor and author Anna Williamson