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Lesson 4 - Emotional Preparedness, Depression and Emergencies

Accept Your Own Feelings

Postpartum Depression

Signs of Postpartum Depression







Accept Your Own Feelings

  • No one is expected to handle every situation that is thrown their way every day

  • Seek support from the Support Program Coordinator at Guiding Parents

  • Attend Parent Volunteer Debrief Meetings at Guiding Parents

  • Remind yourself that you did the best you could with the information you had at the time



















Postpartum Depression

Postpartum Depression (PPD) is a serious mental health problem characterized by a prolonged period of emotional disturbance, occurring at a time of major change and increased responsibilities in the care of a newborn infant. PPD can have significant consequences for both the new mother and family.


An estimated 9 - 16% of postpartum women will experience PPD. Among women who have already experienced PPD following a previous pregnancy, some prevalence estimates increase to 41%.


Source: American Psychological Association



Signs of Postpartum Depression

Signs and symptoms of depression after childbirth vary, depending on the type of depression: Post Baby Blues or Postpartum Depression.


Post Baby Blues: 

Signs and symptoms of the baby blues — which last only a few days to a week or two — may include:

  • Mood swings

  • Anxiety

  • Sadness

  • Irritability

  • Crying

  • Decreased concentration

  • Trouble sleeping


Postpartum Depression Symptoms: 

Postpartum depression may appear to be the baby blues at first — but the signs and symptoms are more intense and longer lasting, eventually interfering with the mother's ability to care for her baby and handle other daily tasks. Postpartum depression symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite

  • Insomnia

  • Intense irritability and anger

  • Overwhelming fatigue

  • Loss of interest in sex

  • Lack of joy in life

  • Feelings of shame, guilt or inadequacy

  • Severe mood swings

  • Difficulty bonding with her baby

  • Withdrawal from family and friends

  • Thoughts of harming herself or her baby


Untreated, postpartum depression may last for many months or longer.


When to See a Doctor:

If the mother is feeling depressed after their baby's birth, they may be reluctant or embarrassed to admit it. But it's important for them to call their doctor or the Seleni Institute if the signs and symptoms of depression have any of these features:

  • Don't fade after two weeks

  • Are getting worse

  • Make it hard forthem to care for their baby

  • Make it hard to complete everyday tasks

  • Include thoughts of harming herself or her baby


Source: Mayo Clinic,




  • If you feel there is a concern about the parent’s safety and health, contact Guiding Parents immediately

  • If you feel there is a life-threatening concern, call 9-1-1



Accept Your Own Feelings
Signs of Postpartum Depression
Postpartum Depression
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