May 6, 2020 is World Maternal Mental Health Day. Early parenthood is often portrayed as one of the most fulfilling and wonderful times of our lives – and yet, 1 in 4 new parents struggle with mood and anxiety disorders.
This year, World Maternal Mental Health Day may have more significance than ever as we face infertility, pregnancy, pregnancy loss, birth, parenting and perinatal mental health amidst the pandemic.
As it is, women who are struggling with mental health issues during the perinatal period have difficulty reaching out for support, for reasons including stigma and shame, lack of awareness, and inability to access services. With the restrictions in place due to Covid-19, even typical supports have become less available or potentially out of reach altogether. There is naturally a concern that this period of self-isolation will only make things worse when it comes to postpartum depression.
Thankfully, there are still services and supports being offered online for women and families. Our social worker, Leanne Shapiro, has specialized training in perinatal mental health and is available for telephone and video counselling at this time. There are also support groups and resources addressing a variety of issues that you can access:
- https://www.lifewithababy.com and https://www.lifewithababy.com/Preterm/
- https://www.nygh.on.ca/areas-care/maternal-newborn-and-paediatric-care/pregnancy-and-birth/postpartum-support-group (https://connect.nygh.on.ca/mbabyclinic/forms/SitePages/postpartum.aspx)