Other Factors

Postpartum Depression

Postpartum “blues” are considered normal. They affect up to 80% of new mothers. They can occur 3 to 4 days after birth and can last up to 2 weeks. With good physical care and emotional support, these symptoms will go away (e.g., crying spells, feeling sad, irritability, frustration).


Untreated postpartum depression impacts a child’s development, as parents may have altered ability to be attentive, attuned and able to respond appropriately to the infant or child{ren}. For more information on how red flag behaviours may be present in families experiencing postpartum depression, please see sections on: Attachment, Social/Emotional, Abuse, Behaviour, Family Environmental Stressors.


Postpartum Depression may start prenatally, and is part of the spectrum of postpartum mood disorders. A woman who has a personal or family history of depression/anxiety and/or history of abuse or neglect may be at increased risk of postpartum depression.

Red Flags for Postpartum Depression: If mom is experiencing any of the following beyond 2 weeks of the birth of the child:

 Sad and tearful


 Changes in eating and sleeping patterns

 Feeling overwhelmed with inability to concentrate

 Reduced interest or pleasure in family and/or activities

 Hopelessness and frustration

 Restlessness, irritability or anger

 Extreme highs, full of energy

 Guilt and shame, thinking she is not a good mother

 Poor attachment (e.g., unable to read baby’s cues)

 Afraid to be alone with baby

 Repeated scary thoughts about the baby

 Thoughts of harming self or baby

 Altered mood; anxiety and/or depression

 Lack of supports/partner

 Recent stressful life event

 Isolation, lack of transportation

 Financial concerns which may lead to inadequate access to food and/or housing

 Unrealistic expectations of self or child

 Substance abuse

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