You may recognize when you are feeling badly (e.g, sad, depressed, anxious) but feel embarrassed or afraid to talk about it. But postpartum mood changes may be a sign of a medical condition that needs treatment. Talk to your doctor, midwife or community health nurse about your concerns.
Remembering the term NESTS
can help you recall the basic steps of self-care to reduce stress and make you feel better:
- Nutrition – try to eat nutritious food when you can.
- Exercise – try to get some activity every day, like going for a walk.
- Sleep and rest – try to get as much sleep as possible and rest when you can.
- Time for yourself – try to take a few moments each day to care for yourself.
- Support – ask for help; all new parents need support from others.
Reach out to your partner or family/friends. They can listen, comfort you and help you find support. You may need psychotherapy, either individual or group, or medication to fully treat your symptoms of postpartum depression or anxiety. You may need to share the responsibility for cooking, cleaning or caring for your baby while you are getting help.
BC Reproductive Mental Health Program offers information, services, and resources to women across BC, their partners and families, and the professionals who work with them who are dealing with mental health challenges). Ask your care provider to refer you to the program. Note: There is a waitlist.
Get help immediately if you are having thoughts of harming yourself, your baby or someone else. Call 911, the Distress Line (1-800-784-2433) or go to a hospital emergency room.