Niagara Public Health program leads to reduction in postpartum depression and anxiety in mothers

swaddled baby

A program from Niagara Public Health is showing a positive impact on postpartum depression.

A McMaster University study has shown that a nurse-delivered cognitive behavioural therapy program delivered by Niagara Public Health led to both a reduction in postpartum depression and anxiety in mothers.

Mothers who participated in a nine-week series were five times more likely to experience a clinically meaningful improvement in depression than those receiving traditional care alone.

"The CBT program is life-changing for so many participants, and to be a part of that journey is incredibly rewarding," said Ruth, a nurse with Niagara Region Public Health for the past 32 years. "The skills taught through the series provide moms with a toolbox of strategies that they can take away from the program and support not only their mental health and their relationship with their baby, but also skills they can use in other relationships and areas of their life."

NRPH continues to offer this nine-week intervention for expectant parents and parents with infants up to 18 months of age who are feeling depressed, down, or anxious. 

For more information about accessing the program visit the Niagara Parents Classes and Clinics page.

PPD can affect anyone. Common symptoms include feelings of anxiety, depression or feeling overwhelmed, excessive feelings of guilt, changes in appetite, and loss of interest in things that normally bring pleasure. If you have recently had a baby and are experiencing any of these symptoms you can speak with a public health nurse for support by connecting with Niagara Parents, Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at 905-684-7555 or 1-888-505-6074 ext. 7555 or by email at parents@niagararegion.ca.