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Post Partum Mood Disorder Program

*Please note this program is not offered at this time.


www.ppmd.ca

Mood changes in pregnancy and in the postpartum period affect 1 in 5 mothers. Early detection and treatment of mood disorders in the mother can greatly impact the overall relationship, bonding and wellbeing of the child. Addressing the needs of a family affected by postpartum mood disorders truly gives the child an advantage.

Sometimes motherhood is not what we thought it was going to be. The adjustment to motherhood or to another baby can be much more difficult than we ever expected. Our expectations of a perfect life with a new baby are soon met with the reality of very little sleep (sometimes it feels like no sleep!), changes in our bodies, changes in our partner and family relationships and meeting the ongoing demands of an infant.

Mothers who have had postpartum mood disorders report experiencing

  • Difficulty sleeping and eating
  • Feeling lonely
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Tearfulness
  • Feeling anxious and having panic attacks
  • Constant worry
  • Confusion
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of joy
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling like they are not bonding with their baby

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms contact us for more information. It is important to remember that you are not to blame for how you are feeling and you are not alone. Rarely, women may experience a postpartum psychosis. This is a medical emergency. If you have

  • had thoughts of harming your baby or yourself
  • hear or see things that are not there
  • believe people or things are going to harm you or your baby
  • feel confused and out of touch with reality

Get help right away. Go to the Crisis Intervention Program at your local hospital.

It is important to remember that not only mothers are affected by mood changes during and after pregnancy. Fathers and adoptive parents can also experience postpartum depression.

Mothers who had experienced postpartum mood disorders tell us there are things they did that were helpful such as,

  • asking for help
  • talking to their doctor or nurse practitioner
  • going to counselling
  • getting out and attending Child and Family Centres
  • talking to others about their experiences
  • exercising
  • drinking more water
  • eating well
  • limiting caffeine
  • doing something for themselves each day
  • challenging their own thoughts on being a “perfect” mother

Partners, friends and family can play a key role in helping a mother who is experiencing postpartum depression. They can,

  • ask her what she needs and fulfill those requests
  • listen and support her
  • help her understand it’s not her fault
  • encourage her to access help
  • spend time with your baby
  • take care of yourself
  • be patient

For further information on postpartum mood disorders visit lifewithnewbaby.ca

Funding for this program is made available by the Ontario Trillium Foundation 

 

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