Baby's First Year · Emotional Health · Parenting · Pregnancy

World Maternal Mental Health Day

Parent holding baby with text "one cries for help. The other doesn't"

This year, May 5, 2021 is World Maternal Mental Health Day.  It is a day to raise awareness of perinatal mood disorders.

1 in 5 women experience anxiety and/or depression during pregnancy or post-partum. It is one of the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth yet it is often unnoticed and untreated.

The COVID-19 pandemic, lock downs and gathering restrictions during the past year have added increased challenges to many parents and some have experienced an increase in anxiety and/or depression.

Many families that would have received support from family, friends, groups or parenting programs in person, have only been able to ‘connect’ with others online.  “Virtual” contact can have its benefits, but for some it can be quite challenging and sometimes feel isolating.  

Some symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression are:

  • depressed or irritable mood
  • lack of interest in activities
  • changes in sleep or appetite
  • low energy or poor concentration
  • feeling guilty or worthless
  • worry that is difficult to control
  • feeling panicky, restless or tense
  • intrusive repetitive thoughts (e.g., fear of baby getting sick) or repeated rituals (e.g., hand washing, checking baby often)
  • flashbacks or nightmares of a trauma
  • thoughts of suicide or harming yourself or your baby

If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, remember:
You are not alone. There is help. You will get better.

The time is now. Let’s increase awareness of Maternal Mental Health and spread the word by using the hashtags #maternalMHmatters, #TimeForAction and #WMMHD when posting on social media.

“There is no health without mental health

Call (416) 338-7600 or e-chat with a Public Health Nurse if you think you may need help, or contact your Health Care Provider.

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