Put most simply, postpartum depression (PPD) refers to a depressive episode that occurs within the first year after the birth of the baby. Although most commonly seen in mothers, fathers can also experience postpartum mood changes. Fifteen percent of the time, depressive symptoms start during pregnancy. Postpartum depression is different from the “baby blues” which refers to transient mood changes lasting no more than two weeks. If mood changes persist for two weeks or more, you may have a postpartum depression that should be assessed. Other depressive symptoms seen more commonly in PPD include:
Postpartum depression may go untreated because of the difficulty leaving home to get to an appointment or because of the intense involvement required in caring for a newborn. It is however a condition that can respond very well to counselling or in other cases medication, or both. If you would like to call or email me to discuss your personal situation, I would be happy to hear from you.
Practical suggestions for eating when your mood is low.
A variety of strategies for navigating the postpartum period.
The author honours the experience of new motherhood and the need for nurturance and care for the mother at a time when all attention is on baby. Combines women’s comments, resources and practical strategies in the text.
A humorous and unflinchingly honest description of first-time motherhood. Lamott writes with a unique level of candour, wit and vibrancy.
Canadian anthology of tales of motherhood. Honest and riveting.
This gentle guidebook, published by the Pacific Postpartum Support Society, offers encouragement, support and helpful advice to mothers experiencing postpartum mood changes. Recommended.
Actress Brooke Shield’s intimate recounting of her experience through postpartum depression and back.
Written by a Toronto psychiatrist, this book provides straightforward information about postpartum depression along with practical suggestions for treatment.
Call 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse 24/7. Other professionals available through this line include after-hours pharmacists, exercise professionals and dieticians
Free, self-directed online cognitive behavioural therapy.
Canada-wide, 24/7 professional phone counselling and other support options.
Resource list, updated quarterly.
A resource list of lower-cost professional counselling options in Vancouver. Corrections and suggestions welcome.
604-675-3700 – Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre, Vancouver Hospital, Level 1, East Entrance
7 days a week: 7:30am-11pm. Phone, walk-in and outreach support for urgent, non life-threatening mental health and addictions issues. Response times vary. Serves residents of Vancouver.
BC-based website offering comprehensive information on a wealth of mental health conditions and addictions concerns.
24-7 crisis service for anyone that is suicidal, thinking about suicide or for concerned friends/family. BC-wide service.
Telephone support, support groups, partner support and resources for those suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety.
Self-help guide (pdf). Not intended to replace professional help.
Free self-care manual for depression, available in several languages. Persons with major depression should also seek help from a physician and/or professional counselling.
Support groups, education, info and referral to people living with depression or bipolar disorder and their supporters. The MDA also has a counselling clinic.