Part 3: Real Solutions For “When Baby Brings the Blues”

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Jul 8, 2010

With post partum depression – or PPD – now better understood by new moms, their families, and healthcare professionals, solutions to the issue are increasingly being made available to help moms and their support network work through this dark time.

Dr. Ariel Dalfen, a psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, is a globally-recognized and acclaimed lecturer and medical researcher in the area of post-partum depression. Dr. Dalfen’s recently released book – When Baby Brings the Blues: Solutions for Postpartum Depression – helps women to deal with PPD with practical advice that ranges from options new moms can practice at home, to current medical options available. In addition, the book includes feedback, advice and personal stores from real women that Dr. Dalfen has treated for PPD.
Check out Dr. Dalfen’s Q&A with below.

In your book, you talk about solutions for dealing with PPD. What are your top tips when it comes to helping women cope with PPD?

  • Shore up your personal support network.
  • Get sleep.
  • Get professional help early on from a mental health professional and follow up with this healthcare provider.
  • Make sure your partner understands PPD and involve them in your care.

What are some of the newest treatments available for dealing with PPD?

The standard ones apply, like talk therapy and medication. But there are now newer ones to add to these treatments, such as acupuncture in some cases, and even mindfulness meditation.

It has been noted that it can take up to a year after birth before a women can begin experiencing PPD. Why is this and how common is it?

PPD usually begins within the first three to four months of postpartum. Due to hormonal changes and life changes, it can begin anytime within a year. However, it is much more likely to begin early.

Recent stories have popped up to say that moms aren’t the only ones experiencing sadness following the birth of a child, with 1 in every 10 dads experiencing a form of the ‘baby blues.’  Is it possible for a man to experience PPD?

Men can get depressed postpartum because of the huge life change. They experience a lack of sleep, there may be a change in their relationship status with their partner, and many others. However, this is particularly true for men with a history of psychiatric issues.

Men should not feel they have to be too macho and should address their depressions. It’s also important to note that symptoms in men may be different than those experienced by women – such as social isolation, more anger, or even violence and substance abuse.

What advice would you provide to someone who is currently suffering from PPD?

Don’t keep it to yourself; tell someone you are suffering and don’t be afraid to get help. Don’t waste time suffering and make sure you get to enjoy your baby’s first days!

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