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Postpartum Depression

Most mothers experience some levels of sadness and anxiety following a pregnancy. If a mother experiences overwhelming emotions of sadness and mood swings beyond the first few weeks, it might signify an evolving postpartum depression which requires treatment. Postpartum depression is not necessarily a continuation of the baby blues and may begin at a much later time. In both cases, mothers and particularly first time mothers, require caring support from the people around them.

Treatments: Self-care

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A "good" mother cares for her child -- and for herself.  This involves first-of-all getting enough sleep, a minimum of six hours over a 24-hour period.  Making time to eat, exercise, breathe deeply, relax, connect with others and seek support will lift a parent's mood and help them become a more "present" parent.
 
Experts
Barbara Komar, Registered Nurse, Registered Clinical Counsellor
Michal Regev, Psychologist, PhD
Debbie Reid, Registered Dietitian 
Dr. Stefanie Green, Maternity Physician

Treatments: Group & Phone Support

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When a family is dealing with perinatal/postpartum depression it is important to seek help as soon as possible.  Help exists in various formats including group and phone support.  The Pacific Postpartum Support Society offers both types of support.  Individuals who participate find it reduces their sense of isolation and feelings that they are "the only one" experiencing this.  ExpertsSheila Duffy, Program Manager at PPPSSHollie Hall, Counsellor & Group Facilitator at PPPSS

Postpartum Depression is Multigenerational

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The child can be protected tremendously if the environment around the mother is supportive and protective. However, depression tends to happen in women who lack that support in the first place. In other words, the problem is multigenerational where the mother's depression is not only a response to the birth of a child but also a recalling of negative memories from her own childhood, triggered by the birth of her child.

Resilience

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Resilience is the capacity to not only survive difficulties but also adapt to and grow from them. Although some people can deal with situations easier than others, resilience is not only an individual characteristic but a result of our social environment and upbringing as well. People who benefitted from security and support have a better sense of agency and possibility than those who were deprived and isolated.

New Mothers Need Support

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Featuring: 
Dr. Deirdre Ryan, Psychiatrist, Dr. Carolyn Steinberg, Psychiatrist, Enid Elliot, Early Childhood Consultant, PhD

Some new mothers, especially those who have had professional careers, may feel reluctant to ask for assistance because of feelings of guilt and worthlessness.  They may think their parenting skills will come under scrutiny or may choose not to ask for help out of politeness. Others may not recognize they need help.  It is the responsibility of friends, family members and other members of society to make sure that a new mother feels safe and supported, and is surrounded by people whom she can trust.

Postpartum Depression: Not the Baby Blues

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Featuring: 
Dr. Stefanie Green, Maternity Physician, Michal Regev, Psychologist, PhD, Enid Elliot, Early Childhood Consultant, PhD, Dr. Deirdre Ryan, Psychiatrist, Dr. Carolyn Steinberg, Psychiatrist

Most mothers experience some levels of sadness and anxiety following a pregnancy. This state, often called the baby blues, can last up to two weeks and is completely normal. However, if a mother experiences overwhelming emotions of sadness and mood swings beyond the first few weeks, it might signify an evolving postpartum depression which requires treatment. Postpartum depression is not necessarily a continuation of the baby blues and may begin at a much later time. In both cases, mothers and particularly first time mothers, require caring support from the people around them.

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