It is normal for your body and feelings to change during pregnancy and after birth. Some of the changes are from hormones. How you feel mentally affects your whole body.
- These changes can be stressful for you and people around you.
- Anxiety or depression can start when you are pregnant or soon after.
- Mental health problems are common.
- Mental health problems are not a sign of weakness.
- Your risk for mental health problems may be higher with family history.
Take care of your mental health before, during and after pregnancy.
- Keep all health care appointments.
- Get health care if you feel unwell mentally or physically.
- Ask for help. If you can’t ask, get someone to ask for you.
- If you don’t get help, keep asking.
- Accept help from others. Family can help with meals, housework and childcare.
- Talk about your feelings to someone you trust.
- Build a support network. Join a group with other parents or an online support group.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods.
- Eat small frequent meals even if you don’t feel hungry.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep when baby sleeps.
- Take time to relax. Do something you enjoy; read, take a bath or go for a walk.
- Be active.
Baby blues are common in the first two weeks after giving birth.
These feelings should not last longer than two weeks.
- Crying for what seems like no reason
- Feeling happy one minute and sad the next
- Feeling irritable
- Feeling frustrated
- Feeling tired even after rest
- Trouble concentrating
- Problems sleeping
Get help if you have. . .
- Depressed mood.
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy.
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns.
- Difficulty bonding with your baby.
- Anxiety or constant worry.
- Feelings of hopelessness or guilt.
- Feelings of being out of control.
- Experiences of hearing or seeing things which are not there.
- Beliefs that people or things are going to harm you or your baby.
- Feelings of confusion or being out of touch with reality.
- Thoughts of hurting yourself or your baby.
- Thoughts of suicide.
Where to get help
With help you will get better. Contact your health care provider.
If you are thinking of killing or hurting yourself or your baby, get help right away. Call COAST or the Mental Health Helpline or go to a hospital emergency room.
- Crisis Outreach and Support Team (COAST) 905-972-8338 – Phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- East Region Mental Health Services 905-573-4801 – Community mental health care and therapy
- Mental Health Helpline 1-866-531-2600 – Phone support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Women's Health Concerns Clinic 905-522-1155 ext. 33979 – Assessment and treatment
- YWCA Hamilton Good Beginnings 905-522-9922 ext. 310 – Volunteer in-home visits
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