Introduction to Perinatal Depression
Perinatal depression broadly refers to depression that can occur during pregnancy and/or can happen up to one year after the birth of your baby. As many as one in five women will experience perinatal depression. Depression after the birth of your baby is commonly called postpartum depression.
Perinatal depression affects your mind, body, emotions, behaviours and habits. It can affect all aspects of your life including how you feel about yourself, how you interact with others, and your personal relationships. A mother’s depression can also affect her emotional attachment to her baby and her baby’s healthy development.
Getting the support and help as soon as you realize that you may be experiencing depression is important.
Your health care provider or public health nurse may ask you to complete the Edinburgh Perinatal Depression Screening Scale (EPDS), which is a set of ten questions that helps determine if you are at risk for perinatal depression. The use of the EPDS is a standard screening process in BC. It may be offered when you are between 28 to 32 weeks pregnant and again, 6 to 8 weeks after your pregnancy. It can be offered to you again any time up to one year after your baby’s birth. This screening will help your health care provider identify if you are experiencing depression. If you are experiencing depression, your health care provider will help you manage.
For more information on depression during pregnancy, click here.
For more information on postpartum depression, click here.