Emotional Health · Parenting · Pregnancy

Mental health matters when planning a pregnancy

Sad individual sitting on floor by a window

Has planning a pregnancy got you worried and tense?  Maybe you’ve been feeling sad, scared or not in control of your life?  Stress from trying to conceive a baby can sometimes affect your mental health and well-being. It’s a good idea to talk about your feelings with someone you trust.

When should I get help?

If you feel depressed, anxious, or overwhelmed before you become pregnant, it’s important to get help from your health care provider(s) and your family.  It’s especially important to get help if you’ve already had a previous pregnancy and you’ve experienced some of these same feelings.  This way, the plan to support you through this time can be shared and others can help you to cope.

What can other people help me with?

  • Discuss reasons for your feelings – whether it be social isolation, low self-esteem, sexual dysfunction, anger or other reasons
  • Identify and address reproductive health needs
  • Discuss lifestyle behaviours such as diet, exercise and stress
  • Put supports in place as needed before and after pregnancy
  • Provide emotional/medical follow-up
  • Discuss the need for medication(s) or whether they need to be changed
  • Discuss how to optimize sleep
  • Assist with understanding how pregnancy and the time after birth will affect emotions/mood
  • Help make an informed decision about feeding baby

If you have a mental health challenge or disorder, having extra support is important to ensure you stay well when planning a pregnancy, during pregnancy and after birth.

If you have any questions or concerns about your mental health, connect with a Public Health Nurse via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.

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