May 21,

Perinatal Mood Disorder

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Perinatal Mood Disorder

Depression can happen to anyone. Signs can appear any time during pregnancy and within the first year after the birth or adoption of a baby.

Depression is the most common complication of childbearing.  One in five mothers will have a postpartum mood disorder.  If left untreated, mothers with postpartum depression are at higher risk of developing future episodes of depression.  Mother-to-child bonding and social functioning may be negatively affected.  Children of depressed mothers are at greater risk for poor developmental outcomes.

Due to stigmas concerning mental illness and societal expectations for bliss, many mothers are reluctant to come forward and tell their care provider that they are anxious, depressed, or feeling as though they are ‘going crazy’.

However, women are relieved to be asked about their mood.  Questions can be integrated into prenatal visits and well-baby check-ups, and will provide insight into the emotional and physical well-being of the new mother.

To assist physicians, nurse practitioners, midwives, and other care providers, our local Perinatal Mood Disorders (PMD) Collaborative Group introduced the  PMD Resource for Health Care Providers in the Peterborough Community.

This resource package includes:

  • information on risk factors and symptoms of  PMD’s;
  • questions to ask;
  • a tear-off pad of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression  Scale (EPDS ) sheets;
  • instructions for use of the EPDS,  which helps providers determine the level of risk;
  • a care pathway;
  • information about evidence-based treatment options;
  • local resources with contact numbers; and
  • a sample information booklet for clients, titled Life with a new baby is not always what you expect.


Last modified on Jan 15, 2016