Deigo, 13, holds his baby sister Dalia. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Deigo, 13, holds his baby sister Dalia. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Revelstoke family working through postpartum depression

8-12 per cent of mothers experience postpartum depression

Claude Awad and Julie Martel waited 13 years to have their third child, hoping to avoid a second run-in with postpartum depression.

But things didn’t go as planned.

Dalia was born July 6 weighing 6.5 lbs.

Awad said everything was going well at first but the stresses continued to build.

“The symptoms are hard to spot and it is kind of strange cause they are all little problems that you can solve fairly easily,” Awad said.

“But when the person is too stressed everything seems insurmountable and by the time they make a plan to help out, a couple hours after the plan is changing already and you can’t keep up with it.”

READ MORE: Pregnant Revelstoke woman catches COVID-19 days before giving birth

Postpartum depression is a form of depression that a mother can experience within the first year after having a baby.

HealthLink BC says a woman who has postpartum depression may:

• feel very sad, hopeless, empty, anxious

• lose pleasure in everyday things

• not feel hungry, lose weight (though it may be the opposite for others)

• have trouble sleeping

• not be able to concentrate

• have trouble caring for and bonding with their baby

Awad said Martel recognized the symptoms in herself and agreed to go to a psychiatric hospital for treatment, where she is right now (Sept. 14). She has agreed to share this story and preferred Awad speak on her behalf.

Awad said she judges herself harshly for having to be away from the baby.

“You wouldn’t blame yourself for not being able to participate if you had like two broken legs or something, but if it is a mental issue people don’t treat it that way,” he said.

Julie Martel, walking the family goats a few weeks before giving birth. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

He is confident, with support and proper care she will return home in a month or so.

After giving birth to their second child 13 years ago, Martel went to the hospital to be treated for depression, in Canmore, which was where they lived at the time.

People don’t see it coming, Awad said.

Martel went from happy go lucky and enthusiastic to dark and suicidal within a few weeks. Without proper supervision, she asked to go outside for some sunshine and ran away from the hospital, attempting suicide before she was found a week later.

Since then, Awad said she did a lot of work on herself both physically and mentally and had gotten off all medication.

“She was really, really healthy,” he said.

“We didn’t expect to go down that road again.”

Though many women experience baby blues within the first few days after childbirth because of hormonal changes, the symptoms ease up in less than two weeks, whereas postpartum depression can continue for years.

The Canadian Mental Health association reports eight to 12 per cent of mothers experience postpartum depression.

Factors that put women at higher risk include:

• history of mental health problems

• hormonal changes

• sleep deprivation

• recent stressful life events

• lack of support

• experience of abuse or violence

• social inequalities like poor housing or inadequate income

• isolation

• medical complications for you or your baby

Though there isn’t yet research on the subject, Dr. Andreas Mostert, with the Selkirk Medical Group, says COVID-19 restrictions could potentially contribute to postpartum depression.

“We know in general, not just for postpartum depression but for mental health, social contact is a significant factor in prevention and in treatment,” he said.

Awad said he and his family have been more isolated than they usually would be because of the pandemic, noting Martel likely would have networked with other moms had the situation been different.

Awad has quit his job to be at home full-time with Dalia.

After receiving offers, he has asked the community for donations of breast milk, saying Dalia enjoys it much more than formula. He can be contacted through Facebook.

Diego and Esteban, Dalia’s big brothers, have been a big help, Awad said, making perfect bottles after having learned from taking care of lambs earlier this year.

READ MORE: Revelstoke maternity team keeps mom grounded during COVID-19

Find more information or assistance at:

• Revelstoke Public Health-250-814-2244

• Selkirk Medical Group-250-837-9321

• Dr. Lora Cruise Medical Clinic-250-837-7997

• UBC- parlab.med.ubc.ca/1338-2/

• Healthlink- 811

• BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services-310-6789

• Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre-1-800-784-2433.

mental health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Esteban, 15, bottle feeding a lamb. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Esteban, 15, bottle feeding a lamb. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Claude Awad and Dalia. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Claude Awad and Dalia. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Dalia, born July 6 to Claude Awad and Julie Martel. (Submitted/Revelstoke Review)

Just Posted

Community Futures North Okanagan hosted free virtual valley-wide seminars during Small Business Week. (Contributed)
Organization equips Okanagan businesses with pandemic tools

Community Futures sees success in its all-virtual Small Business Week seminar series

Dr. Steve Piper, owner of Monashee Health Collective, is leading an applied research project to develop an app that will help health professionals connect with patients in real time. (Contributed).
Okanagan researchers developing app to connect patients with practitioners virtually

The prototype holistic wellness app will be tested and launched over the next six months

Two have been taken to hospital following a vehicle crash north of Vernon on Highway 97 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Crash north of Vernon causes Highway 97 traffic delays

Emergency crews respond to two-vehicle incident near Swan Lake; occupants taken to hospital

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. The British Columbia provincial election will be on Oct. 24. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Greater Vernon Chamber reacts to provincial election

Chamber president congratulates NDP, lists the issues the chamber will advocate for

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Brennan Phillips - Western News)
UPDATE: Flames doused for second time at fatal Penticton apartment fire

The Elm Ave. building first caught fire around 4 a.m., killing two people and displacing dozens

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

(Submitted)
Penticton apartment fire claims two lives

An apartment on Elm Avenue went up in flames Tuesday morning

A Summerland woman has set up an online fundraiser to provide backpacks to those being released from correctional facilities.(ca.gofundme.com)
Summerland woman raising money for backpack program

Backpacks will be distributed to those being released from correctional facilities

École de l’Anse-au-sable. (Google Maps)
15 cases of COVID-19 tied to Kelowna Francophone school outbreak

Three other schools in Kelowna are also dealing with potential exposure events

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A four-vehicle accident on the Bruhn Bridge in Sicamous destroyed two cars and a section of bridge guardrail but remarkably injured no one. (Sicamous RCMP Image)
Sicamous’ Bruhn Bridge site of two collisions

Although a total of five vehicles were involved, no one was injured

Most Read