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When Pregnancy Is Not What You Expect

Pregnancy is often seen as a time of joy and excitement, but this is not true for everyone. Seeking help in your pregnancy may lower your chance of postpartum depression and anxiety.

Pregnancy can bring many changes and questions about the future. It can also affect your relationships. Good physical care, emotional support, learning about pregnancy and prenatal care are often very helpful.

 

Talk about your feelings with your partner or someone you trust.

Prenatal Depression and Anxiety Disorders are common

When prenatal depression and anxiety are left untreated, the risk of postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, increases. Partners and other children can struggle too. It can affect anyone in the family.  Early intervention can help you feel better during pregnancy!

 

You 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
  • Feel anxious or can’t stop worrying 
  • Seek constant reassurance from others or the internet
  • Have no interest or pleasure in activities you 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 yourself or others

If your symptoms continue or get worse, speak to your healthcare professional. 

 

What you can do?

  • Rest during the day when feeling tired.
  • Get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep.
  • Eat healthy food several times a day.
  • Go for a walk 3-4 times a week or more.
  • Accept help from family and friends.
  • Take time for yourself.
  • Relaxation such as listening to music, deep breathing, or colouring.
  • Limit the time you spend with people who make you feel anxious or sad.
  • Talk about your feelings with your partner or someone you trust.
  • Find the prenatal education that is right for you
  • Reach out to your healthcare professional to talk about what help and treatment options are available
  • Don't Wait, Get Help
 
Date of creation: December 1, 2017
Last modified on: February 28, 2018
 
 

References

1BC Reproductive Mental Health Program. (2014). Best practice guidelines for mental health disorders in the perinatal period. Retrieved from
http://www.perinatalservicesbc.ca/Documents/Guidelines-Standards/Maternal/MentalHealthDisordersGuideline.pdf
2Canadian Pediatric Society. (2017, March). Depression in pregnant women and mothers: How it affects you and your child. Retrieved from
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/depression_in_pregnant_women_and_mothers
3Government of Canada. (2016, May 26). Depression during pregnancy. Retrieved from
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/pregnancy/depression-during-pregnancy.html
4Haensel, H., & Parkinson, S. (2017). Mothering the mother: Caring for mother’s mental health to optimize infant attachment and development. [PowerPoint slides].
5Haring, M., Smith, J. E., Bodnar, D., Misri, S., Little, R. M., & Ryan, D. (2013). Coping with anxiety during pregnancy and following the birth: A cognitive behavior therapy-based self-management guide for women and health care providers. Retrieved from
http://www.cw.bc.ca/library/pdf/BCRMH_AnxietyGuide_final.pdf