You are not alone
In Canada, one in five women experience symptoms of anxiety and depression in the perinatal period. In NL, it is one in four. You are not alone. Join our Alliance, learn about Perinatal Mental Health and together we can build a strong, healthy community.
What is Perinatal Mental Health
Perinatal mental health refers to a person's mental health during pregnancy and after baby is born (postpartum), up to one year. Problems with mental health can include anxiety, depression, which are more common. Symptoms of bipolar disorder, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post traumatic stress disorder may also emerge at this time.
Mild anxiety and mood symptoms can be a normal part of pregnancy and postpartum. When they begin to impact your daily function or cause you distress, and if you have had a previous mental illness, you are at risk and should seek help.
What are the signs and symptoms?
Feelings of sadness, depression, anger, anxiety or panic. Problems bonding with the baby, and, changes in eating or sleeping, upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind. Feelings of guilt, shame and hopelessness. Worry that you might hurt your baby or someone else.
Is this what they call the Baby Blues?
The blues are different. 80% of women experience fluctuating moods during the first two weeks postpartum. This can be a normal and common experience. With hormones changing, lack of sleep and a new transition time, you may experience crying, sadness, tiredness and frustration. This typically resolves after two weeks.
The Pandemic Effect
The global pandemic of Covid-19 has impacted many individuals and has changed many of our expectations of what can be an already difficult transition period. The pandemic feelings and emotions can be normal but can make worse any of the above perinatal mental health symptoms.
What can I do?
Counselling, therapy, medications, education, peer support, lifestyle changes may be all part of a mental health plan. Contacting a healthcare professional, friend, family member, health line is an important next step to help determine the right path for you.
“I felt so alone, so overwhelmed. I didn't want to accept I needed help. When I did, I didn't know where to go.”
“We felt so overwhelmed. There was so much to navigate. I didn't know to ask for help, and when I did, I didn't know where to go.”
"I felt so alone, sad and overwhelmed with my first child, feeling hopeless and wanting to run away. With my family doctor's help and treatment my mood improved. Today I'm happy, healthy and a better parent and partner."
“Coming together to provide a collaborative approach for treatment is so important. Now more than ever, maternal mental health matters.”