New mum Amanda says: 'My 3-month-old cries constantly, and I just can't seem do anything right for her. Sometimes I shout at her and I'm scared to be on my own with her. I feel so terrible and very ashamed. I don't know what to do.'
Amanda is being very brave in speaking honestly about how she feels, and many new mums will identify with her. Becoming a parent is never what we expect. It can be overwhelming, frustrating and confusing, and we may find ourselves behaving in scary and alien ways.
- Take your baby to the GP to check she's in good health.
- Tell your GP and health visitor how you're feeling. They will be able to identify and help you cope with post natal depression.
- Share your feelings with those close to you, your partner, family, best friend. Don't bottle things up.
- Accept practical help to give yourself a break.
- Use local networks, such as mother and toddler groups, the National Childbirth Trust (0870 444 8707) or internet parents' groups.
- Make sure you get out every day, no matter how bad the crying is.
- When you feel yourself getting stressed, put your baby in her cot and walk away. Calm down by making a hot drink, phoning a friend or playing music.
By acknowledging how you're coping, you've taken the first step to improving things for you and your baby.
- Possible problems: Feeding
- Possible problems: Teething
- Possible problems: Tummy time
More help and advice- Why is my baby crying?
- What to do if you think you've got post-natal depression
- What to expect in the first few days and weeks