Most of us think that having a baby will be the happiest time in our lives; however not everyone feels joy or that “love at first sight” feeling.
Feelings of guilt, sadness, stress, or anxiety can affect the early weeks and months of parenthood which can make it hard to enjoy a new baby.
I’ve seen many clients feel ashamed about being depressed or anxious and not reach out for help. Worrying about what others will think of them causes them to continue to suffer in silence.
Remember, postpartum depression and anxiety is real, you didn’t cause this to happen, and you are not to blame!
Up to 15% of women and 10% of men experience depression after the birth of their baby. Even though there is treatment, it is the most under-recognized and under-treated mental illness.
What can you do?
- Learn about the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety during your pregnancy so you know what to expect
- Talk to your partner, family member, or friend if you’re struggling. Knowing you need help is the first step to getting better
- Take care of yourself – be sure to eat regularly
- Sleep when your baby sleeps
- Talk to your health care provider about treatment options
- Ask family and friends for help with meals, cleaning, and laundry
Toronto Public Health screens for depression and anxiety during pregnancy and after birth, and provides support. Call (416) 338-7600 or echat with a Public Health Nurse if you think you may need help, or contact your Health Care Provider.
“It takes a whole village to raise a child but we need to remember that it was the mother who had the baby, and she needs our help too.” ~ Jane Honikman