Postpartum Depression

Having a baby is a huge life change which can cause parents to experience a wide range of feelings from joy and excitement to guilt and sadness

One in every five parents experiences depression and/or anxiety

Postpartum depression is a deeper depression that lasts much longer than other types of depression. You may feel:

  • Exhausted and overwhelmed

  • A loss of interest in activities that once made you happy

  • Sadness, anger, loneliness, worthless, hopeless

  • Changes in appetite

  • Constant worry and guilt

  • Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby

Diagnostic criteria for major depressive episode – please seek help from a professional!

depressionnnn.png
  • At least 5 symptoms present for at least 2 weeks, for most of nearly every day

  • One symptom must include – depressed mood or diminished interest in activities

  • Other symptoms include – weight loss or weight gain, insomnia, fatigue, loss of energy, feeling worthless, inappropriate guilt, diminished ability to think or concentrate, indecisiveness

  • Symptoms cause distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of function

Depression is a mental illness that affects your mood and how you feel. Our mood impacts how we think about ourselves, how we relate to others, and how we interact with the world

A parent with postpartum depression may not enjoy the baby and have frequent thoughts that they are a bad parent

Take care of yourself!

  • The first step is recognizing that you are going through a major change in your life

  • Don’t be scared or embarrassed to ask for help, whether from a loved one or a professional

  • Get a healthy amount of sleep each night

  • Eat plenty of healthy foods

  • Be active each day

  • Integrate one activity into each day that makes you happy

How can you help your loved one dealing with postpartum depression?

  • Adjust your expectations of them and ensure their day-to-day abilities are realistic

  • Never compare them to another person who is struggling with postpartum depression – we are all unique!

  • Accept that they may wish to spend some time alone – they are trying to cope with their illness

  • Offer help with their responsibilities – take a chore off their hands so they can have some time to relax

  • Help with child care, especially during the night – take turns getting up at night

  • Recognize their efforts to manage their illness, regardless of outcomes

Counselling and support

CBT.jpg

References

City of Toronto. (2018). Pregnancy and Parenting. Retrieved from https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/children-parenting/

Canadian Mental Health Association. (2018). Postpartum Depression. Retrieved from https://cmha.ca/documents/postpartum-depression

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. (2018). Postpartum Depression. Retrieved from

https://www.camh.ca/en/health-info/mental-illness-and-addiction-index/postpartum-depression

Anxiety Canada. (2018). New moms: Feeling anxious? Retrieved from https://www.anxietycanada.com/parents/new-moms/feeling-anxious/recognizing-post-partum-anxiety

Steward, D., & Vigod, S. (2016). Postpartum Depression. The New England Journal of Medicine. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1607649

Beck, C. (2006). Postpartum Depression. American Journal of Nursing, 106(5), 40-50.