The birth of a new baby is a much-anticipated event but this life-changing experience can often lead to postpartum depression or a postpartum mood disorder in many women.
Female Speaker: For three time Juno Award nominee Amy Sky, few things bring greater joy than spending time with her daughter, but becoming a mother brought challenges that Amy was completely unprepared for. Amy Sky: I was of course thrilled when my daughter Zoe was born and she was a beautiful healthy baby. But I myself didn't feel healthy, pretty much from the moment she was born. I left the hospital in tears, and that began a roller coaster of moods and emotions that after a couple of weeks culminated in hallucinations and anxiety attacks, and at that point I realized I needed to call my physician and he told me, he thought I was suffering from a Postpartum Mood Disorder. Female Speaker: Dr. Ariel Dalfen is with Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and says that nearly four out of five women will have some form of Postpartum Blues. Dr. Ariel Dalfen: About 50% to 80% of women experience what we called Baby Blues and this consists of symptoms such as feeling overwhelmed, feeling tearful, feeling that one can't cope as a new mom. Then if Baby Blues last for longer than two weeks we're in to the category of Postpartum Mood Disorder. The first thing we recommend is that a women increases her support system, and support network. Then if a person needs professional help, they can have counseling or a talk therapy which can often be helpful, and then in the more serious cases, we recommend medications to treat Postpartum Mood Disorder. Amy Sky: I think it's extremely difficult for any new mother to admit that they are not functioning at a 100% of their capacity, but it's really important to understand that Postpartum Mood Disorder is an illness like any physical illness and you wouldn't have any shame in talking to a healthcare professional about physical symptoms. So you shouldn't have any shame or any self blame. It's nothing you did that brought this condition on, and the best thing you can do for yourself and for your baby problem is to seek treatment from a healthcare professional. Female Speaker: To help women get the information they need about Postpartum Mood Disorder, a new prevention program has been created. Hiltrud Dawson is with Ontario's Best Start Resource Center. Hiltrud Dawson: Women need to know that Postpartum Mood Disorders are common and that there is help for them. That's why the Best Start Resource Center is launching a prevention public awareness campaign. Women will be able to get the information they need from their family physician, their nurse practitioner, obstetrician, public health nurse, and midwife. Female Speaker: For more information about Postpartum Mood Disorders, speak with your doctor or visit lifewithnewbaby.ca, Sherry Demeterco reporting.