Pregnancy and parenting are not always what you expect…
- Pregnancy is often seen as a time of joy and excitement, but this is not true for everyone.
- The birth or adoption of a baby can bring physical, emotional and social changes. Adjustment to new roles and relationships is not always easy.
Depression and Anxiety Disorders are common in pregnancy and postpartum.
- Up to 20% of women experience depression after having a baby. Mood disorders, such as anxiety, are also common. Partners and children can struggle too.
- It can affect anyone in the family!
Woman and/or partner may …
- Feel sad or numb
- Be tearful or cry a lot
- Feel exhausted, but not able to sleep
- Have changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Feel overwhelmed and can’t concentrate
- Seek constant reassurance from others or the internet
- Have no interest or pleasure in activities they used to enjoy
- Feel hopeless or worthless
- Feel restless, irritable or angry
- Feel guilty and ashamed
- Avoid spending time with family and friends
- Have thoughts of hurting themselves or others
- Have scary thoughts about the baby
If you believe your loved one is at risk of harming themselves, their baby or someone else, do NOT leave them alone. Take Action – Get Help!
How can you help?
- Share your concern and ask how you can help.
- Be willing to listen and accept their feelings.
- Provide reassurance and be supportive.
- Offer encouragement about counselling and treatment.
- Provide meals, do laundry or housework.
- Help with grocery shopping or driving to appointments.
- Offer to help arrange childcare.
- Encourage time for rest or physical activities (i.e. go for a walk)
- Learn about perinatal depression and anxiety disorders.
- Learn about mental health community and crisis services.
- Locate helpful information (i.e. on-line resources, support groups).
- Offer or help find prenatal or postpartum education opportunities.
- Encourage seeing a healthcare professional.
- Offer to attend medical appointments or support groups.
- Encourage joining a support group.
What’s Not Helpful
- Criticizing or judging.
- Statements like “Snap out of it” or “You should be happy”.
- Stopping by without calling first.
- Blaming yourself or others.
*Adapted from Best Start: Creating Circles of Support, January 2010
Last modified on: July 2, 2020
Reach Out (24/7 Crisis Service)
Call or Webchat, 1-866-933-2023
Talk 4 Healing Help Line (24/7 for Aboriginal Women)
Call or Live Chat, 1-855-554-HEAL (4325)
CMHA Thames Valley Addiction & Mental Health Crisis Centre (24/7 Walk-in Service)
534 Queens Ave (temporary location)
Parent Infant Relationship Clinic (PAIRclinic)
Vanier Children's Mental Wellness - 519-433-3101
Support Line (24/7 Therapeutic Listening)
Carre Four des Femmes (Services confidentiels gratuits pour les femmes francophones)
8-week online support group for women with mood-adjustment challenges following the birth of their baby