Postpartum Mental Health

 

Welcoming a new addition to the family can bring immense joy, but it’s essential to acknowledge that the postpartum period can also be challenging for many new parents. Postpartum mental health encompasses a range of emotions and experiences, from the baby blues to more serious conditions like postpartum depression and anxiety. If you are struggling with your mental health after childbirth, it may be a good idea to seek help and prioritize building a foundation of positive mental well-being for yourself.

The Impact of Post-Partum Mental Health

The emotional well-being of parents significantly influences family dynamics and the early experiences of the newborn. Postpartum mental health challenges can strain relationships, impact parental bonding with the baby, and affect the overall family environment. Addressing these challenges and fostering a supportive atmosphere within the family is crucial for promoting healthy development and resilience.

As a mother during the postpartum period, you may find that you:

  • Have mixed feelings about no longer being pregnant, your birth experience, your baby, or your role as a parent
  • Have a lot of energy or feel very tired
  • Have emotions that go from happy to sad and back again
  • Feel differently about how you look and the changes your body has gone through

It is important to pay attention to your feelings and share them with your partner or support person.

After giving birth you may experience:

  • Postpartum depression: Postpartum depression usually occurs within weeks of giving birth but can also begin months or longer after your baby was born and is severe and long-lasting. It can strike those who had a happy pregnancy and non-traumatic childbirth and can hurt the mother’s mental health and the relationship with her baby.
  • Postpartum blues. Postpartum blues are linked with the hormone changes associated with pregnancy and after childbirth. 

Signs and Symptoms

Some signs and symptoms of postpartum depression include: 

  • Inability to get out of bed, although you’re physically fine
  • Seeing the world as dark and dismal
  • Feeling as though your child would be better off without you
  • Feeling helpless or out of control
  • Thoughts of suicide, self-harm, or harming your child
  • Challenges bonding with your baby
  • Severe mood swings
  • Excessive crying
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Eating too little or overeating
  • Sleeping issues (too much or too little)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Feeling anxious about your ability to be a good parent

Some signs that you may be experiencing postpartum blues include:

  • Feeling a little sad, restless, anxious or overly sensitive
  • Crying for no reason
  • Being impatient and irritable
  • Having trouble concentrating
  • Feeling overly tired or have trouble sleeping
  • Finding your mood changes often, such as going from feeling happy to feeling sad

Having the postpartum blues is common and may last 1–2 weeks. If these feelings do not go away or if they get worse, it may be a sign of postpartum depression or anxiety. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone.

Both postpartum depression and postpartum blues can have a significant impact on parents. It is important to understand that these conditions are not just feelings of sadness but are rather serious mental health concerns. Maintaining good mental health is crucial for parents to be able to heal, and provide a nurturing environment for their baby’s growth and development. If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms you may want to consider seeking guidance. 

How we can help:

Counselling/Assessments 

  • Mental health assessments
  • Postpartum depression counselling
  • Stress management counselling
  • Anxiety counselling

Doula Services

  • Can provide emotional support (validation, and active listening)
  • Information and Education (guidance and educational resources)
  • Infant care information
  • Birth Processing Help (Reflective conversations and debriefing)

It’s important to note that while doulas can offer valuable support, they are not a substitute for professional mental health care. If a parent is experiencing severe postpartum mental health concerns, it’s essential to seek assistance from mental health professionals. 

Massage Therapy Services

  • Help reduce stress
  • Help balance hormones
  • Help with pain relief
  • Good form of self-care

To learn more about our services  Contact us here.

[1] https://www.healthyparentshealthychildren.ca/im-pregnant/postpartum/mental-health-2/#mental-health