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e-newsletter : The PPMD Connection
It is not always easy to admit to feeling anxious or depressed. There are many reasons that parents may not talk about their feelings. These include:
ØNot knowing that their symptoms are related to a mental illness,
ØFeeling embarrassed or guilty and worrying about the stigma surrounding mental illness,
ØThinking that worries or fears won’t be understood by others,
ØBeing afraid that others will think they are not good parents, and/or
ØNot knowing who to talk to or where to go for help.
It's up to supportive and caring individuals to let parents know that it's ok to talk about their feelings.
Ask a new parent how they are feeling and how they are adjusting to having a baby.
If a woman presents with any of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, she may be experiencing PMD. It is important to encourage her to seek help from a qualified health professional if she:
§Does not feel herself §Is sad and tearful §Feels exhausted, but unable to sleep §Has changes in eating or sleeping patterns §Feels overwhelmed and unable to concentrate §Has no interest or pleasure in activities she used to enjoy §Feels hopeless, frustrated, restless, irritable or angry §Feels extremely high or full of energy §Feels anxious-she may feel this as aches, chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness,
tingling or a lump in the throat §Feels guilty, ashamed, or thinks she are not a good mother §Is not be bonding with the baby or is afraid to be with her baby
If she experiences the following at any time:
§Repeated scary thoughts about the baby §Thoughts about harming herself or the baby
She should contact her health care provider immediately.
On very rare occasions, mothers will suffer fromPostpartum Psychosis. This is a serious illness with risks to the mother and the baby. If a mother:
§Has thoughts of harming herself or the baby §Hears or sees things that are not there §Believes people or things are going to harm her or the baby §Feels confused or out of touch with reality
It is important that she gets help right away.She should not be left alone or left with the baby.
Call her doctor
Go to the local emergency department
Call the crisis intervention line: (Mobile Crisis of Peel -24 hours-905-278-9036 or Distress Line Peel -24 hours- 905-278-7208)
Fathers canalso develop depression in the postpartum year. There is not as much information about fathers’ depression, but more research is being done in this area. For more information about risk factors and symptoms for paternal depression, see Men and Postnatal Depression from the PANDA website.