Potential Biological Cause for Postpartum Depression Found

Postpartum depression strikes up to 20% of new moms and can have terrible consequences for both mother and child. Roughly 20% of maternal deaths after childbirth are from suicide. Postpartum depression can cause new moms to feel anxious and irritable, suffer self-doubt and have difficulty bonding with their baby, in addition to interfering with their ability to think, sleep and eat. For the child, maternal postpartum depression can translate into problems with cognitive, emotional and social development.

COVID-19 affects the mental health of pregnant women

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Canadian women’s mental health both during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, confirms the CONCEPTION study led by Anick Bérard, a researcher at CHU Sainte-Justine and professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Université de Montréal. According to the data collected, 23 percent of pregnant or postpartum women in Canada suffered from major depressive symptoms, and nearly 40 percent of them suffered from moderate to severe symptoms associated primarily with anxiety and stress. 

What Expectant Moms Need to Know About Mental Health During and After Pregnancy

Major depressive episodes during pregnancy and the year after birth, known as the perinatal period, are common, affecting up to 1 in 5 U.S. women. More than half of these women go undiagnosed, and 85% are untreated, which can lead to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. In the most severe cases, perinatal depression can increase the risk for a mother to end her own life or that of her child.

Importance of mental healthcare for new mothers

Pregnancy promises to be a memorable journey in a woman’s life. During this period, a woman can experience several emotions from happiness, sadness, anxiety, and excitement. These can overwhelm her, especially if she is vulnerable and unable to find the support she needs. Although these feelings tend to go away on their own, for some, they might become severe and require medical attention.

The trauma new moms bear and why they feel forgotten

Anxiety, isolation, grief and trauma — these are some of the words new moms are using to describe their pregnancy and postpartum experience during the pandemic, and they say steps toward normal life are just as daunting.

A rise in postpartum mental health challenges during the pandemic brings new local supports

When Robyn Currie pictured having a baby, she imagined mom-and-baby yoga classes, hanging out with other new parents and relaxing in coffee shops while her new child took a nap. Instead, she experienced social isolation, physical distancing and a bunch of cancelled programs. Realizing her expectations wouldn’t come to fruition left her grappling with grief, loneliness and depression.

Uncovering the urgent need for postpartum mental health care in Canada

Well-being during the first year after childbirth can have long-term effects on mothers and children alike. It’s also a period when mothers are at higher risk of developing mental illness, and the pandemic has only exacerbated those risks.