Having a baby is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman's life but sometimes it's not. Many new mothers feel worried, sad, overwhelmed or angry after the birth of a baby. Postpartum (after birth) mood disorders can appear during any pregnancy or with the adoption of a baby. These feelings can be mild or intense and are caused by:
- less sleep
- hormonal changes
- physical changes of pregnancy and birth
- adjusting to having a new baby to care for
Postpartum or "Baby Blues"
- affect 30-75% of women
- the blues tend to appear in the first few hours to days after birth and usually do not last longer than 2 weeks
- in some cases women's symptoms worsen and become depression
Symptoms of Postpartum Mood Disorders
- feeling low,sad, empty or tearful
- loss of interest/pleasure in activities
- changes in appetite
- hearing voices
- feeling tired/concentration problems
- recurring thoughts and fears about harm coming to baby, family or self
- feelings of worthlesness or guilt
- not being able to sleep when the baby sleeps or no need to sleep
- disturbing thoughts and images that are upsetting and frightening
- feeling helpless and overwhelmed
- feeling like you are "crazy"
If any of this sounds like you, you're not alone
You don't have to suffer in silence
You don't have to be afraid
Help is available!
Life With A New Baby Brochure
Avec un nouveau bébé , la vie n’est pas toujours rose
Information & Support for City of Thunder Bay and District
If you or someone you know is having symptoms of postpartum mood disorders and need more information call:
24-hour Crisis Response Service Canadian Mental Health Association:
Thunder Bay 346-8282 Toll free 1-888-269-3100
North of Superior Mental Health Services
Terrace Bay: 824-3238
What Can You Do?
Rest when the baby sleeps
Try to follow a simple Daily Routine
Ask For Help-don't try to do it all yourself
Choose one or two chores a day
Take Care of Yourself-shower and dress each day
Take Time For Yourself- go out for a walk, meet a friend, talk with other mothers
Talk About How You Feel to people you are comfortable with
Play and Enjoy the Good Moments with your baby
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back-adjusting to motherhood is hard work
Consider individual counselling
Consider medication options
If you have signs of postpartum depression or anxiety, reach out.
Tell your health care provider!