Some mothers reported feelings consistent with postpartum depression or an anxiety disorder soon after the birth of their babies. (iStock)

Almost one-quarter of new moms reported mental health problems

Government statistics suggest that 23 per cent of new mothers in Canada experienced postpartum depression or an anxiety disorder in the five to 13 months after giving birth. The survey of over 7,000 women was conducted between November 29, 2018 to February 5, 2019.

The World Health Organization notes that maternal mental health problems increase the risk of poor physical health for mothers and may also affect they health of the baby. It says mental health problems such as depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after childbirth are very common in all parts of the world, but more common in developed countries.

Younger women at greater risk

This survey found that in Canada, women under the age of 25 were more likely to report a mental health problem (30 per cent)  as were those who had been diagnosed with a mood disorder in the past. 

Some new mothers were prescribed antidepressants. (iStock)

Most new moms were satisfied with life

Almost a third of mothers who reported feelings of postpartum depression or an anxiety disorder and 10 per cent who did not have these feelings reported getting treatment for their emotions or mental health since the birth of their babies. Among them, 39 per cent got counselling therapy, 38 per cent got medication such as antidepressants and 23 per cent got both.

The vast majority of moms surveyed reported being very satisfied or satisfied with their life. The survey was conducted by Statistics Canada in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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