Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are the most common obstetrical complication, affecting one in four mothers in Newfoundland, one in five mothers in Canada and one in ten fathers.
If experiencing these symptoms, we can see the impact in bonding, attachment, parenting, complications in pregnancy and labour. It is important that we manage mental health in pregnancy and postpartum for the betterment of ourselves and our families.
Perinatal mental health includes anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder that occur in pregnancy or postpartum up to one year.
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 higher risk.
Feelings of sadness, depression, irritability or anger. Difficulty bonding, anxious or panicky. Problems with eating or sleeping, upsetting thoughts that you can’t get out of your mind. Feelings of guilt. Worry that you might hurt your baby or someone else.
Counselling, therapy, medications, peer support, lifestyle changes are 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 the individual.