With the arrival or adoption of a new baby, most women hope they will adjust easily. They expect to be tired but overall feel good about themselves and the new addition to their families. However, for about 1 in 5 women, the life and personal changes can be quite distressing. Could it be postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety?
Common concerns from women struggling with postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety include: Maybe it will get better? Maybe it’s not as bad as other women? I am afraid to ask for help or am not comfortable? Do I need this? How do you know if it’s the baby blues or something more? Could I feel worse if I talk about it? What help is out there and what services exist in Ottawa? I did try to tell someone and I didn’t get support I need. What could help?
During the pregnancy, you may have heard about postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety in a prenatal class, from your healthcare provider, in a package from the hospital, from a friend, in the media but thought it could never happen to your family or if it did you would recognize it and get help.
Postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety is the most common non-medical complication from childbirth. It can even begin in the pregnancy period but more often presents within the first year. There are many checklists to assist in describing symptoms (http://postpartum.net/Get-the-Facts.aspx ) but the best gauge is how you are feeling about it. If you feel something is off, check it out and talk to someone about it, seek more support from a trusted person and/or health professional. It can be difficult to acknowledge something is wrong but this is often the first step in the healing journey. Postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety is very treatable if support in sought. It is a journey in which you will gain a better sense of yourself and improve the quality of life for you and your family now and in the future.
It’s a daunting task to find out what services exist and how to access those resources – especially when you’re sleep deprived, feeling overwhelmed, sad and /or anxious. The first step is creating a circle of support as an important part of your recovery. The circle can be big or small, of people and/or services you trust to help you and your family through this journey.
At Family Services Ottawa, we are here to help you get the support you need. We welcome self-referrals. You may benefit from joining a MOMS Postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety support group and/or from counselling services.
We are part of a larger community that provides support to women experiencing postpartum distress, depression and/or anxiety. There are many different resources available in Ottawa. Who can you add to your circle of support?
In addition to your partner, supporters, family and friends, determine who else your potential supports are, the next step is to ask them for help. Asking for support takes courage and is definitely not easy, but remember this is often the most important step in your recovery.
Please contact us at 613-725-3601 X117 or visit our website at http://www.familyservicesottawa.org to find out how we can help.
Counsellor and Group Facilitator