Postpartum Depression and Suicide

What is postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression usually occurs in the year following childbirth and affects both men and women. It can also start in the month before childbirth.


What causes postpartum depression?

There is no single cause for postpartum depression. It has a number of contributing factors:

  • Stressful situations (e.g., financial problems, loss of a loved one, difficult family relationships, moving)
  • Relationship problems
  • Drop in hormones following childbirth
  • History of depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Lack of social support

What are the effects of postpartum depression?

Postpartum depression can have multiple effects, including:

  • Sleep problems
  • Inability to care for your child
  • Difficulty connecting with your child
  • Frequent crying, sometimes for no apparent reason
  • Feelings of irritability or anger
  • Difficulty finding pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • An impression that things will never get better
  • Intense anxiety (especially about your child’s well-being)
  • Suicidal thoughts

Do you have postpartum depression and suicidal thoughts?

Postpartum depression can cause suicidal thoughts. If this is the case for you, consult the following sections:

01 Taking stock of your mental health

The first step toward taking back control is identifying what’s causing your suicidal thoughts.

02 Taking care of yourself

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself and regain your balance when you’re having suicidal thoughts.

03 Talking about it with your loved ones

Asking for help from your family and friends isn’t always easy. There are different ways of going about it.

04 Finding support services

Every day, all sorts of people contact support services to get the help they need.

What to do if you have postpartum depression

Postpartum depression can be treated. If you have any symptoms of postpartum depression, first call Info-Social at 811, option 2, to discuss your situation with a psychosocial worker and be referred, if necessary, to resources in your area that can provide support.

For an assessment and follow-up with a healthcare professional, consult a general practitioner (your family doctor, for example), a psychologist or contact your local CLSC.

Other resources can help people suffering from postpartum depression.

Advice for people with postpartum depression

What I'm going through...