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Experts take questions on pre- and postpartum depression Add to ...

"For many pregnant women across Canada, questions about their mental health are becoming a mainstay of prenatal visits to the doctor," writes Tralee Pearce in Tuesday's Globe and Mail.

"As recently as a few years ago, pregnant women may not have been treated for depression until it showed up after baby was born - if they were treated at all. Fuelled by new research, experts are now broadening the definition of postpartum depression to include moms to be. In response, new, more extensive treatment programs are springing up across the country to help women during pregnancy and after."

Andrea O'Reilly - an associate professor in the school of women's studies at York University, where she teaches a course on motherhood, and the founder of the Association for Research on Mothering - and Gina Wong-Wylie - a registered psychologist who focuses on pre/postnatal issues with women, couples, and families - were online earlier to take your questions on pre and postnatal depression, from what signs and symptoms to look for to what the latest research tells us.

Submit your question now using the comment function on this story.

Andrea O'Reilly, PhD, is associate professor in the school of women's studies at York University where she teaches a course on motherhood (the first course on motherhood in Canada) and the Introduction to Women's Studies course. She is co-editor/editor of nine books on motherhood, including the forthcoming Feminist Mothering (SUNY, 2007).

Prof. O'Reilly is founder and director of the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM). She is founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. In 2006, as director of ARM, she founded Demeter Press, the first feminist press on motherhood. As well, she is founder of the feminist mothers group "Mother Outlaws

Gina Wong-Wylie is an associate professor in the Graduate Centre for Applied Psychology at Athabasca University and an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada. She is a registered psychologist and directs a limited counselling and consulting practice focusing on pre/postnatal issues with women, couples, and families.

She is active with the Association for Research on Mothering as a Journal and conference advisory board member. She is a board member with the Status of Women in Psychology in Canada and has published on issues related to motherhood, specifically in relation to prenatal/postnatal maternal adjustments and postpartum depression. She has been recognized internationally and sought as a presenter and advocate for maternal mental health and wellness from feminist and cross-cultural perspectives. Gina resides in Edmonton with her partner and two young children. Her website address http://www.caap.ca/gcap/centre/gina/.

Editor's Note: globeandmail.com editors will read and allow or reject each question/comment. Comments/questions may be edited for length or clarity. We will not publish questions/comments that include personal attacks on participants in these discussions, that make false or unsubstantiated allegations, that purport to quote people or reports where the purported quote or fact cannot be easily verified, or questions/comments that include vulgar language or libellous statements. Preference will be given to readers who submit questions/comments using their full name and home town, rather than a pseudonym.

Whatevah D, Canada: Hi, I suffered severe post-partum depression and anxiety. My psychiatrist, who specializes in the field, said there was a correlation between breastfeeding difficulties and PPD. What is your take on this, and if it's true, is there any education being done around this? There is so much pressure to breastfeed, and of course, you want to do what's best for your baby. However, when it isn't working it can be DEVASTATING, as it was in my case.

Andrea O'Reilly: Thank you for this question. IT is an important and timely one. I do not research specifically in this field so I do not know if studies have been done on breastfeeding and PPD. However, what is known is that there is enormous pressure on women to breastfeed and yet little actual support for breastfeeding itself.

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