The prenatal and postpartum periods are times of increased risk for the onset of mood disorders. Mood disorders can range from depression or anxiety during pregnancy, early postpartum blues to postpartum psychosis, a serious mental health condition. Within this range is postpartum depression (PPD), a major depressive disorder that can occur at any time within the first year following the birth or adoption of a baby. Recent studies show that anxiety is just as common, or more so than depression in the postpartum period.
Research shows that 1 in 5 women experience a PMD and rates increase for adolescents and new immigrant mothers. When left untreated it can have detrimental effects on the health and well-being of women, children and family members.
Prenatal depression is the greatest risk factor for PMDs. More information about Toronto Public Health’s prenatal programs.
It is important to explore the mother’s knowledge and understanding of what she is experiencing, and in consultation with the mother, educate her partner and family members by providing them with coping strategies to support her and themselves.
For all Toronto patients, contact Toronto Health Connection at 416-338-7600 or refer to Toronto Services for Women with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.
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