Mental Health

Life with a new baby isn't always what you expect. Pregnancy, the birth or adoption of a baby can bring physical, emotional and social changes. Adjusting to new roles and relationships aren't always easy.

Postpartum mood disorders

Baby blues

Almost four out of five mothers will experience the baby blues. Partners can also experience emotional difficulties, especially if their partner is depressed.

This is normal and can start in the first week after the baby is born. With good physical care and emotional support, it will typically pass within two weeks.

Postpartum depression and postpartum mood disorders

Sometimes the baby blues don't go away. You may also feel this way during your pregnancy or later during the baby's first year. You may:

  • Not feel yourself
  • Be sad and tearful
  • Feel exhausted, but unable to sleep
  • Have changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Feel overwhelmed and can't concentrate
  • Have no interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
  • Feel hopeless or frustrated
  • Feel restless, irritable or angry
  • Feel extremely high and full of energy
  • Feel anxious - this includes aches, chest pain, shortness of breath, numbness, tingling or lump in the throat
  • Feel guilty and ashamed, thinking you're not a good mother
  • Not bond or are afraid to be alone with your baby

Getting support

If you've had any of these symptoms, don't wait: seek help immediately.

  • Go to your local emergency department if you're in crisis
  • See your doctor or nurse practitioner for assessment and treatment
  • Call Niagara Parents to speak to one of our nurses about how you're feeling and supports that are available in Niagara
  • Call the Mental Health and Addictions Access Line for after hours support
  • Visit the Mother Matters online support group
  • Register for the next Postpartum Depression Group to learn skills, strategies and tools to help manage depression and anxiety

Infant mental health

Baby's early experiences help shape the way they will learn, think and behave for the rest of their lives. Caregivers play an important role in their baby's brain development.

Attachment is the emotional bond between you and your baby. This early development can affect their physical, social and emotional well-being as they grow. Attachment begins at birth and grows during the first year. Healthy attachment forms when a baby’s physical and emotional needs are responded to quickly and warmly.

Learn more about healthy infant attachment or connect with a public health nurse at Niagara Parents.

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