People with Perinatal Depression might experience feelings of anger, sadness, irritability, guilt, lack of interest in the baby, changes in eating and sleeping habits, trouble concentrating, thoughts of hopelessness and sometimes even thoughts of harming the baby or themselves.
(It is NOT the 'baby blues' - which occurs in the first two weeks after birth and is characterized by tearfulness, but the predominant mood is happiness.)
People with Perinatal Anxiety may experience extreme worries and fears, often over the health and safety of the baby. Some people have panic attacks and might feel shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, a feeling of losing control, and numbness and tingling.
Perinatal OCD can have repetitive, upsetting and unwanted thoughts or mental images (obsessions), and sometimes they need to do certain things over and over (compulsions) to reduce the anxiety caused by those thoughts. These parents find these thoughts very scary and unusual and are very unlikely to ever act on them.
Perinatal PTSD is often caused by a traumatic or frightening childbirth, trauma surrounding miscarriage or stillbirth, fears for your life or the life of the baby during pregnancy or past trauma. Symptoms may include flashbacks of the trauma with feelings of anxiety and the need to avoid things related to that event.
The intention is to help raise awareness of the factors that can potentially cause vulnerability to perinatal depression. This knowledge can help so that support networks can be mobilized and resources can be accessed. Treatment during pregnancy CAN lower your risks of developing a post partum mood disorder.
This tool (courtesy of the Post Partum Stress Center) can be used by pregnant women to self-assess their level of risk and discuss the results with their doctor or psychologist or it can be used by professionals to assess risk in the clients they work with. This assessment is not diagnostic. Risk factors do not cause postpartum depression.
Kristine Aanderson is a Registered Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of Perinatal Mood Disorders including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD anytime from pregnancy to symptoms starting one year after birth. She has a private practice in southwest Edmonton. No referral needed, direct billing for Blue Cross and GreatWestLife insurance, baby-feeding friendly office, same-day appointments for emergencies often avaliable.
Kristine completed the Seleni Institute of New York's Maternal Mental Health Intensive. This program focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of Perinatal Mood Disorders (Depression, Anxiety, OCD and PTSD) and processing grief from miscarriages and stillbirths.
Kristine completed the Post Partum Support International training on Perintal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Components of Care. This training focused on Screening, Social Supports, Therapy for Perintal Depression, Anxiety, OCD and PTSD and treatment for moms, dads and members of the LGBTTQQIAAP community.
Kristine has completed the post-graduate training in maternal mental health from the Postpartum Stress Center in Pennsilvania. The training is run by Karen Klieman, author of almost a dozen books on perinatal mood disorders and their treatment. This training focused on advanced clinical skills needed to care for Perinatal Mood Disorders including depression, anxiety, panic, OCD, suicidal thoughts, bipolar and postpartum psychosis.
Post Partum Support International also offers a variety of supports, including a "Warm Line" (a phone line with messages returned within 24 hours) and live weekly group phone chats (one for moms and one for dads).
For more resources related to the diagnosis, treatment and support for perinatal mood disorders and for resources for professionals, please visit
I Listen Counselling at alpineHealth
#207 - 14127-23 Ave.
Phone (780) 297-7989
Fax 1(844) 544-7228