U of M researcher looking for moms with postpartum depression

A Winnipeg researcher is looking for moms who are "depressed, down or overwhelmed" for a study that will help to understand postpartum depression.

Postpartum depression affects eight to 12 per cent of mothers, according to CMHA

This mental health issue impacts mothers, children and partner relationships, said U of M researcher Michelle Choch. "That's really important for our society in general." (iStock)

A Winnipeg researcher is looking for moms who are "depressed, down or overwhelmed" for a study that will help to understand postpartum depression. 

Michelle Choch, a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba, is getting started on her thesis research that she hopes will "empower mothers and their families and healthcare providers." 

With funding from the Manitoba Health Research Council, Choch will be studying mothers both in the period immediately after their child is born, as well as mothers with older children. 

"We're looking to contribute to the information that we have and better understand how to screen moms with postpartum depression. So it's just really in the last couple of decades that we started to really understand postpartum depression and maybe the unique aspects of it and what moms experience," Choch said Thursday. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) says that eight to 12 per cent of mothers suffer from postpartum depression and it can impact women that have had children before or even adoptive mothers. 

Choch wants her study to help moms and healthcare providers understand what the experience can be like and what the differences can be during the different stages of motherhood. 

"Some of the aspects of the study will also help to... understand the vulnerabilities and the risk factors," Choch said. "So that there can be a better sense of what you can do to prepare and think about and the types of assumptions that we make before we become mothers, to try and prevent some of that maladjustment that occurs."

Choch wants to draw attention to the fact that this is a mental health issue impacts mothers, children and partner relationships.

"That's really important for our society in general," she said. 

The research will aim to find the line between normal adjustment versus being in an "unhealthy space" to help mothers that are isolating themselves and "suffering in silence."

If you want to learn more about the study, you can email motherhoodstudy2012@gmail.com or call Choch at 204-955-4881 or checkout their Facebook page.

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