During pregnancy or after the baby is born 1 in 5 women may experience difficult moods (Perinatal Mood Disorders) including depression and anxiety. Men can also experience emotional difficulty. Have you had some of these symptoms for more than two weeks? You may:
- Not feel like yourself
- Be sad and tearful
- Feel exhausted, but unable to sleep
- Have changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Feel overwhelmed and can’t concentrate
- Have no interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Feel hopeless or frustrated
- Feel restless, irritable or angry
- Feel extremely high and full of energy
- Feel anxious – you may feel this as aches, chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling or “lump” in the throat
- Feel guilty and ashamed, thinking you are not a good parent
- Not bond with the baby, or feel afraid to be alone with the baby q Have repeated scary thoughts about the baby
Very rarely women may feel like hurting themselves or their baby. If this happens to you or a loved one, get help right away. Call 911, go to your local hospital emergency department, or call the Here 24/7 Crisis Line at 1-844-437-3247 (HERE247).
This is not your fault. You are not alone. There is help available.
A parent’s mental health and wellness is important to the family’s wellbeing. Talking with someone you trust about the way you are feeling can help you get the care you need. This may include counselling, support groups or medication ordered by your health care provider.
Don’t wait! There is help for you and your family
If you are experiencing a lot of stress or other mental health concerns, reach out for help from: • Your health care provider (family doctor, midwife, nurse, obstetrician/gynecologist [OB/GYN]) • Your counsellor, social worker or clergy
• Region of Waterloo Public Health 519-575-4400
• Call 1-844-437-3247 (HERE 247) to access addictions, mental health and crisis services
• Mental Health Services – Information Ontario: 1-866-531-2600 (24 hours a day)
Source: Best Start, 2013 (www.beststart.org)