Having a baby comes with many mixed emotions. For some women, it can be the happiest time in one’s life. However, for others, it can become very depressing and sad. According to Postpartum Depression Statistics Canada, “data released in 2019 indicates that 23% of new mothers in Canada experienced symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety after childbirth”. Postpartum depression can happen to both first-time mothers and new mothers with previous children.
Within the first 48 hours after a mother delivers her baby, the woman’s body quickly disposes of placental hormones causing a significant drop in estrogen and progesterone. At the same time, two other hormones, prolactin and oxytocin, kick into overdrive to support the milk supply. Over the next couple weeks after having a baby, it’s normal for mothers to feel overwhelmed and emotional with the sudden change in hormones. This is called the ‘baby blues’ due to the hormone change mentioned above. However, for some mothers, these emotions and symptoms of depression can last longer than two weeks, indicating that the mother may have postpartum depression.
Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:
· Anxious feelings or thoughts about yourself or baby
· Withdrawing from baby or family, being unable to bond with baby
· Feelings of worthlessness, guilt and anger.
· Thoughts of harming yourself and/or your baby
· Lack of interest in activities or self-care
As a new mother, you may feel guilty for needing extra support. I have spoken to many mothers who feel like a “bad mom” for needing to talk to someone. As I have reassured each of these mothers, I will do the same for you. Asking for help is your greatest strength. and this makes you a “good mom.” I will walk along this journey with you to address these overwhelming emotions and support you in overcoming intrusive thoughts. If you or know someone who would like to speak to someone regarding what you may think to be Postpartum Depression or Anxiety, please get in touch with The Family Enhancement Center, call 905-799-2228 or fill out the form, and a service coordinator will reach you shortly.