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Reducing the Impact of Postnatal Depression (PND)

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Depression is a very common condition, especially for parents during pregnancy and even one year after delivery. In fact, 1 in 5 moms and 1 in 10 dads experience postpartum depression.

Not being able to enjoy the new baby, finding parenting too stressful, or having strange feelings about the baby or yourself can be scary. These could be the signs of depression as opposed to you doing something wrong or being a bad parent.

Symptoms of Postnatal Depression* include:

  1. fluctuations in mood
  2. severe anxiety, guilt, or panic attacks
  3. preoccupation with infant well-being
  4. severe ruminations or delusional thoughts
  5. disinterest in infant or fear of being alone with infant
  6. overeating or poor appetite
  7. insomnia or hypersomnia
  8. decreased energy or extreme fatigue
  9. poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
  10. feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness
  11. psychomotor agitation or retardation

St. Joes, is introducing a new program: "Shades of Blue". This program will help childbearing families to navigate the impact of postnatal depression.

The Edinburgh questionnaire is a free, self- administered survey that takes only five minutes complete and asks you about typical symptoms of depression. A high score does not necessarily mean that you are clinically depressed, but does require evaluation by a trained professional.

You will also find local professionals and resources that are trained to work with new parents and understand postpartum depression. There are many effective interventions available. For example, parents that receive counseling are 80 percent better off than parents with the same symptoms who attempt to resolve it on their own.

We encourage you to take the Edinburgh questionnaire any time after your second week of delivery. Keep in mind that a high score does not necessarily mean that you are clinically depressed, but does require evaluation by a trained professional.

* Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed.,Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) American Psychiatric Association, 2000.

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