It's common for new moms to feel depressed - sometimes overwhelmingly so. But help is available. Don’t be afraid to ask.
If you think you're experiencing postpartum depression, talk to your family, your healthcare provider or your public health nurse about how you’re feeling. In the meantime, here are some myths and facts about this common condition:
MYTH - You can 'snap' out of your depression
FACT - If you're experiencing moderate to severe postpartum depression, you will need treatment. Antidepressant medication often helps shorten the amount of time you will feel this way and makes the symptoms less intense.
MYTH - Depression will not affect your mothering skills or your baby
FACT - Untreated postpartum depression affects your ability to care for yourself and to bond with your baby. Babies born to depressed mothers may be more irritable or less attentive than others.
MYTH - You won't recover from postpartum depression
FACT - There is treatment for postpartum depression which makes recovery possible.
MYTH - Only 'weak', 'lazy', or 'bad' mothers get depressed
FACT - Having postpartum depression is not a reflection of your mothering skills. Major depression is a biological illness (chemical imbalance in your brain) that can pass down through your family. You may not know you are depressed because you are so busy caring for your newborn.
Source: Adapted from the Self-Care Program for Women with Postpartum Depression and Anxiety from the BC Women's Hospital and Health Centre.
Resources & Links:
HealthLink BC: Depression: Managing Postpartum Depression