Women's Health Matters

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What can you do to take care of yourself?

It can be helpful for you and your support system to learn about the range of possible perinatal mental health difficulties. These difficulties are issues that should not be ignored or dismissed as “new mother problems.” Instead, learn about the signs and symptoms of these perinatal difficulties so that you can recognize when you should seek treatment. Educating yourself on what typically happens in pregnancy and parenthood can also help normalize some of the feelings and experiences you are having.

Sleep is essential to one’s mental health. It is often the case that the working partner’s sleep is prioritized over the mother’s need for sleep, and this may not be optimal. Without sleep, a mother is more vulnerable to increased anxiety and depression. It can be very helpful to take sleep shifts. For example if mother and infant go to bed at 9 p.m. and the partner/helper does the first feed and changing of the night then s/he can retire at 11 or 12. The partner can feed using pumped breast milk or formula.

Reduce your stress:
New mothers often feel as if they should be able to manage all the household tasks, duties and responsibilities just as they did before having the baby. Having a baby is an overwhelming experience. Access the supports you can in order to manage the everyday tasks in your life.

Talk with those you trust:
New mothers often benefit greatly from talking about their feelings, thoughts and anxieties. You may want to consider joining a group for new moms who share your experience, or to start seeing a therapist.


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Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal anxiety

What can you do to take care of yourself?

Online resources

Mother Matters: Learn about our online support group for new moms.

  • A publication of:
  • Women's College Hospital