Postpartum Depression

New mothers are at risk for a number of mood disorders, ranging from postpartum blues (80% of new mothers) to postpartum depression (13% of new mothers), to more severe conditions such as postpartum psychosis (very rare).

In January of 2016, the United States Preventive Services Task Force updated their recommendations on screening for depression in adults.  This task force now reccomends screening for depression in the the general adult population, including pregnant and postpartum women.

Symptoms of depression can include:

  • changes in appetite: eating too much or having little interest in food
  • changes in sleep, such as trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • lack of energy
  • feeling sad, hopeless or worthless
  • crying for no reason
  • loss of interest or pleasure in activities you normally enjoy

New mothers with depression can have difficulty caring for their baby.  Symptoms of postpartum depression can include:

  • feeling like you can’t care for your baby
  • extreme anxiety or panic attacks
  • trouble making decisions
  • feeling very sad
  • hopelessness
  • feeling out of control

For more information on postpartum depression, click on handout below from the Canadian Pediatrics Society:\

Toronto Public Health has updated their website to include a wealth of resources availabe to women with mood disorders related to pregnancy:

There is also information for partners and caregivers:

Here is a list of Toronto services for women with postpartum depression and anxiety:

Please don’t hesitate to speak to your doctor or your baby’s pediatrician if you have any concerns or question about your mood or about postpartum depression.