Sad mother holding baby

Depression can begin in pregnancy, right after birth or anytime within the entire first year after birth.

You are pregnant or just had a baby and this is supposed to be the happiest time in your life. But it’s not. You’re tired, always crying or angry, feeling alone and overwhelmed. You find you’re just not coping so well anymore. You are not alone.

Depression can begin in pregnancy, right after birth or anytime within the entire first year after birth. Up to one in five women experience a significant depression in pregnancy and/or following childbirth.

Check your symptoms

If you are concerned about developing perinatal or postpartum depression, talk to your health care provider.

Know that if you feel sad or anxious

  • It is not your fault
  • It is important to talk to someone about your feelings
  • Help is available

Signs of depression or anxiety

  • Feeling sad, anxious or crying a lot
  • Feeling guilty, worthless or hopeless
  • Finding it hard to focus or concentrate
  • Feeling like you have no energy
  • Not wanting to be with your family or friends
  • Not enjoying life like you did before
  • Not enjoying time with your baby
  • Having panic attacks, excessive worrying, obsessive or scary thoughts
  • Feeling inadequate or resentful towards the baby
  • Feeling more angry or irritable then usual

You may be more likely to feel depressed or anxious if:

  • You have had depression in the past
  • Other family members have experienced depression
  • If you have had a recent sad or stressful event in your life
  • You tend to expect too much from yourself
  • You feel that you are not supported by your family or friends
  • You are not well
  • Your baby is not well
  • You are concerned about finances
  • You had an unexpected pregnancy

Take gentle care of yourself

  • Be kind to yourself
  • Find someone to talk to
  • Ask for help from your family and friends
  • Try to get as much sleep as you need, including naps
  • Choose healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats (and other protein foods such as cheese and tofu), low fat dairy products, and whole wheat bread and try to eat regularly
  • Try your best to find time to exercise
  • Find time for you to relax – even if it is just for a few minutes to put your feet up or go outside for some fresh air