World Maternal Mental Health Day is recognized on May 4th. The day is meant to bring focus to raising awareness of maternal mental health issues so that the stigma can be reduced for people to seek support and treatment and therefore reduce overall suffering.

What is Maternal Mental Health? It is meant to cover mainly the mental health experiences of mothers in varying stages along the pregnancy and parenting journey. It often relates to PMADs which are Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorders, including: postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum bipolar, postpartum psychosis.

Although the terminology is geared towards women, it is important to remember that any person anywhere in the preconception, fertility, pregnancy, adoption, or parenting journey is likely to have their mental wellness impacted. It is more challenging for some and a lighter experience for others.

Let’s review some significant statistics:

  • 1 in 4 Canadian women report an experience a perinatal mood/anxiety disorder (PMAD)
  • 7/10 women experiencing symptoms will downplay their symptoms for a variety of reasons
  • Paternal postpartum depression is thought to effect approx. 10% of fathers (or 50% of fathers whose spouse has a diagnosis).

Have you had a new baby in the last 12 months? Take this short assessment to gage possible anxiety/depression Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale  (EPDS) Calculator (perinatology.com)

Want to learn more about Postpartum Depression and its impact on parents and other loved ones in their lives? Statistics on Postpartum Depression – Postpartum Depression Resources

If you are concerned about a loved one or have further questions for yourself, please contact our clinic and ask to speak with one of our Registered Social Workers.

 

By: Laura Archer, RSW