Post-partum mood disorders

Pregnancy, the birth of a baby, or an adoption brings physical, emotional and social changes. Adjustments to the new roles and relationships are not always easy.

Almost 4 out of 5 mothers will experience the Postpartum Blues or “Baby Blues”. Symptoms include feeling sad, tearful or irritable, and feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. “Baby Blues” can last a few days or a few weeks while new mothers adjust to their new role.

1 in 5 mothers however will experience something more serious: a Postpartum Mood Disorder. The symptoms often include  many that are present with the” Baby Blues”- but these symptoms are often worse and don’t get better on their own. Women often describe feeling  “not themselves”. In extreme cases, women are overwhelmed with thoughts of harming themselves or their baby.

A postpartum mood disorder is a mental health disorder striking within the first year of giving birth. All women of childbearing age should be aware that a PPMD can strike any woman after delivery regardless of whether you are a first time mother or have had previous pregnancies. There are many known risk factors for a postpartum mood disorder and many supports and treatments available to women and their families who often suffer in silence.

Learn more with this video:

Health Nexus Resources:

Creating Circles of Support for Pregnant Women and New Parents: A Manual Supporting Women's Mental Health in Pregnancy and Postpartum. (PDF)

Life with a new baby is not always what you expect – Brochure (PDF)

Perinatal Mood Disorders - An Interdisciplinary Training Video with a Facilitator’s Guide (Video)

Other resources:

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health - Postpartum Depression: A Guide for Front-line Health and Social Service Providers

Postpartum Support International

The Pacific Post Partum Support Society