Pregnancy and Postpartum Mental Health

Helping you feel confident about being a parent

Pregnancy and postpartum are not meant to be times of suffering.

Perinatal mental health is an umbrella-term that refers to the struggles experienced during pregnancy and postpartum. While we would like for these months to be times of celebration, it isn’t always this simple. Moreover, the statistics show us that mental health are a significant struggle for women and their partners during the perinatal stage. For example, about 1 in 7 women will experience postpartum depression, 1 in 5 mothers experience prenatal anxiety, and 1 in 10 dads struggle with anxiety and depression following the birth of their baby.                  

Mental health in pregnancy and postpartum is treatable! However, many parents are cautious about reaching out. Struggles are often dismissed because of false assumptions (e.g. “it’s just hormones” or “I’ll feel better after I get some sleep”). Sometimes the barrier is due to fear of being judged. It’s hard to acknowledge that you feel a lack of connection to your little one or that you can’t stop yelling at your family members.

When it comes to perinatal mental health, I work with the following framework created by Postpartum Support International:

You are not alone.
You are not to blame.
With help, you will be well.

As much as having a new baby involves adjustments, it is not normal or fair to feel debilitated by that distress. If you are struggling with any of these following issues, reach out. Prenatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders can improve, and you deserve to feel better.

Mental Health in Pregnancy and Postpartum. Counselling services online and Kitchener, ON

Signs of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: 

– Persistent sadness  
– Feeling overwhelmed, stressed or worried most of the day                                                 
– Repetitive anxious thoughts
– Sleep troubles    
– Feeling uneasy, empty or irritable                                                                                               
– Unable to stop crying                                                                                                                     
– Panic attacks                                                                                                                                     
– Lack of energy or motivation                                                                                                         
– Disinterest in previously enjoyable activities                                                                             
– Avoidance or withdrawal                                                                                                                   
– Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness or guilt                                                                       
– Fear of being alone                                                                                                                         
– Fear of separating from baby                                                                                                     
– Difficulty focusing  

Types of Mental Health Concerns during Pregnancy and Postpartum:

  • Postpartum depression/anxiety
  • Prenatal depression/anxiety
  • Perinatal panic disorder
  • Postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Perinatal obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Perinatal bipolar disorder
  • Postpartum psychosis
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