Baby blues surfaces a few days after birth and lasts no more than two weeks. This transitory state of being affects 80% of new mothers and is associated with feelings of sadness and tearfulness.
Postpartum depression (PPD)
If you or someone you know is experiencing constant or increasingly negative feelings of sadness after the birth of a child that persists for more than 2 weeks after delivery, the person in question may be experiencing postpartum depression.
Postpartum depression (PPD) affects new mothers who have recently given birth and is associated with feelings of irritability, sadness and guilt (see full list of symptoms below). PPD hinders bonding and caring for the newborn child by the mother.
Mothers who suffer from postpartum depression unfortunately do not usually experience an improvement over time. Over half of the women who experience PPD needlessly suffer alone.
Please consult a psychologist [/contact-us/] or a licensed mental health care professional if baby blues persists for more than 2 weeks.
If you or someone you know suffers from one or many of the symptoms below, counseling with a licensed psychologist or mental health professional specialized in reproductive health can be beneficial.
- Difficulty sleeping even though very tired;
- Even when the baby is awake,mother feels urge and need to sleep ;
- Unable to eat due to lack of appetite or feeling of nausea ;
- Feels obsessed or worries about the baby at all times ;
- Does not worry about the baby at all, as though the mother does not care ;
- Experiences panic attacks;
- Has feelings of anger towards newborn;
- Thoughts of harming self or the child;
- Overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or helplessness;
- Overwhelming feeling of guilt or sadness;
*Above symptoms are taken from ”Recognizing the Signs of Postpartum Depression adapted from The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada’s handbook: Healthy Beginnings, 2nd edition.”
An unhelpful helping hand
At times, the feedback of supportive yet unaware or ill-informed friends and family can cause more harm than good. Attempts to reassure new moms by dismissing and minimizing fears and symptoms or falsely insuring normalcy or spontaneous recovery are common mistakes.
Treatment and available resources
1 in 8 Canadian women suffers from postpartum depression. While this may be much more common than we think, PPD is very treatable. Speak with a licensed psychologist or mental health professional about your options.
Here are a few suggestions to get you on your way to feeling better :
- Eat healthy : opt for a balanced diet that will fuel your body and mind
- Rest and relax : take time to reflect, rest and relax even if it is only for a few minutes.
- Reach out : find people to help you care for your child. This will allow you to get the rest you deserve and need.
- Slowly but surely : set smalls goals for yourself each day and work towards attaining these objectives.
- Focus on the good : although times may be difficult, happy moments will come around. Cherish and appreciate these moments. This may encourage more of them.
- Prioritize : your health and that of your newborn child is your top priority. Everything else can get done in due time.
*Postpartum Depression and Anxiety: A Self-help Guide for Mothers, 6th edition.
*How to Alleviate or Reduce Your Chances of Developing Postpartum Depression adapted from the Pacific Postpartum Support Society’s self-help guide
You can order these helpful books at www.postpartum.org.Look under “Our Guide”.
Contact us to find out how one of our licensed psychologist can help.