10-15% of women develop post natal depression. The causes are unclear, although it tends to be more common in women with a history of depression, or who have had stressful experiences through the pregnancy and birth. Post natal depression is treatable in the same way as “normal” depression. Some women feel they should struggle along with post natal depression, or are afraid to admit they have it at all. There are organisations who can help and advise on post natal depression.
Post natal depression is an illness like any other and should not be treated any differently by your employer. All of the rights around sickness apply to post natal depression, and, if it is likely to last a year or more you may also have disability discrimination rights under the Equality Act. You will find more information on disability discrimination on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.