November 14, 2007
Media Release

One in five new mothers experience postpartum mood disorder

York Region supports provincial Best Start campaign to help raise awareness
 
NEWMARKET – Postpartum mood disorders (PPMD) affect one in five mothers and can have serious consequences if left unnoticed and untreated. 
 
The Regional Municipality of York Community and Health Services department supports the provincial Best Start campaign to help raise awareness about the challenging adjustment period mothers may experience during pregnancy, after child birth or adoption.
 
Beginning this fall, public transit advertisements, digital food court mall advertisements and newspaper advertisements will encourage York Region residents to visit www.lifewithnewbaby.ca to learn more about PPMD. 
 
This website contains many resources to help new parents, extended family members, friends and health care professionals fully understand and recognize the signs and symptoms of PPMD.  It also includes some strategies on how to overcome this temporary condition.
 
PPMD represents a spectrum of mental health disorders, including postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and postpartum psychosis.  It is a medical condition that can affect any mother, despite her age, socio-economic status, race or ethnicity. 
 
Postpartum mood disorders differ from “baby blues.”  Baby blues or feeling overwhelmed, tired, sad and irritable is common among 80 per cent of new mothers.  It can last for a few days or at most two weeks after giving birth or adopting a new baby.
 
PPMD is baby blues that do not go away after two weeks or occur later on during the baby’s first year.  The symptoms of PPMD may include those of baby blues, as well as feelings of hopelessness, frustration, anxiety, guilt, shame, extreme high energy, lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed, or having repeated scary thoughts about the baby.
 
In very rare cases, a new mother may experience postpartum psychosis.  This is an illness which requires immediate medical attention.  A mother who experiences postpartum psychosis may have thoughts of harming herself or her baby, hear or see things that are not there, believe that people or things are going to harm her or the baby, feel confused or out of touch with reality.
 
Mothers are encouraged to talk to a friend, family member or health care professional about how they are feeling, especially if they suspect they may be suffering from PPMD.
 
The Region’s Community and Health Services department offers support for families who are, or think they may be, experiencing PPMD.  The Transition to Parenting Group is a continuous 12-week information and support group available to new parents, after the birth of their child.  It is facilitated by York Region public health nurses and covers a variety of topics including recognizing PPMD, techniques for effective communication and coping strategies for new parents.
 
Mothers and concerned friends and family members can also speak to a public health nurse by calling York Region Health Connection.  Health Connection nurses can offer support and refer clients to the appropriate services and community resources.  All calls are confidential.
To speak with a public health nurse, to register for the Transitioning to Parenting Group or for more information on this or any other health-related topic, please contact York Region Health Connection at
1-800-361-5653.
 
To learn more about the provincial Best Start campaign, please visit www.lifewithnewbaby.ca
 
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York and our services, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
 Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 716-2717
 Email:  Jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

Contact Information
 
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