One in Five Women Affected by Postpartum Mood Disorders – National Mental Health Week
BRAMPTON, ON. (May 8, 2012) For an estimated 3,000 Peel residents each year, the experience of having a new baby is not what they expected. Approximately one in five women are affected by symptoms of postpartum mood disorders (PMD) during or after pregnancy, and many do not know that help is available.
“My most common thoughts were, ‘what is happening?’ and ‘how can I wake up tomorrow and go through this all again?’,” said Corrine, 40, who developed PMD at age 35 after the birth of her second child.
Symptoms of PMD can include not feeling “yourself”, feeling sad, exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, frustrated or angry, not enjoying activities, or having aches and pains. People with PMD may also feel ashamed, like they are not a good parent or are not bonding with their child. They may also have frightening thoughts about their baby or themselves.
Parents experiencing any combination of these symptoms are encouraged to speak with their health care provider, visit PMDInPeel.ca or call the Peel Postpartum Family Support Line (905-459-8441, or 289-298-5468 from Caledon) to access caring, non-judgmental support people. Support is available in English, Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, Spanish Portuguese, Mandarin and Cantonese. The Peel Postpartum Mood Disorder Program also links parents with valuable resources in their community.
“Many women don’t realize that postpartum mood disorders are medical conditions,” says Debbie Chang, Manager, Peel Public Health. “Some are scared, some are embarrassed, and some don’t think there is anything that can be done. But help is available.”
Postpartum mood disorders differ from “baby blues,” which affect four in five women and generally involve feeling sad, tired or overwhelmed for up to two weeks after having a baby. When feelings persist or worsen past two weeks, it may be PMD. Men can also develop PMD.
Left untreated, PMD can have a significant impact on the health of both parent and baby. Research notes the importance of early interactions between parent and baby, and PMD can make such bonding difficult. In extreme cases, neglect and violence can occur.
“Getting help affected my life in many ways,” said Corrine. “I was able to resume my beautiful life with my amazing baby and start enjoying every moment with her.”
The Regional Municipality of Peel was incorporated in 1974 on the principle that certain community and infrastructure services are most cost-effectively administered over a larger geographic area. The Region of Peel serves more than 1.3 million people and approximately 88,000 businesses in the cities of Brampton and Mississauga and the town of Caledon.