Blog provided by APIN Steering Committee member.
Post–partum depression or PPD : this is the term most of us use when thinking about maternal mental health, but mental health changes can happen during pregnancy too and in many more ways than just depression after giving birth. This means during pregnancy AND up to one year after giving birth, it is important to notice changes in your mental health. An increase in mental health symptoms can occur and are common for around 20% of mothers (CPMHC, 2021). Expectant parents who already have a mental health diagnosis, are at a higher risk for change in mental health. But how does a new or expectant parent know to reach out? It is always a good idea to be aware of what to do in a mental health crisis. Here are some reasons to reach out for help.
- Invasive thoughts of bad things happening to yourself or baby.
- Feeling helpless and hopeless, wishing you were no longer here.
- Difficulty caring for yourself and for baby.
- Feelings of anxiety/depression that don’t go away after two weeks.
- Feelings of rage or anger and difficulty managing emotions.
If you are concerned about yourself or someone you know, please read below for resources and how to connect. If you are interested to review your symptoms more, you can go here for the Edinburgh Scale for Perinatal Depression.
How to get help in Manitoba:
- Share how you are feeling with a family member and your GP or Obstetrician – many women experience mental health challenges and you are not alone!
- If you are less than 6 weeks postpartum and greater than 20 weeks in your pregnancy, you can come to the Women’s Hospital Triage for urgent care.
- Mood Disorders Manitoba has a warmline for mothers to call for less urgent concerns between 9AM and 9PM @ (204) 560-1468.
- Talk to your public health nurse, and if you aren’t sure who your nurse is you can call Health Links @ 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257.
- Ask your Obstetrician for a referral to the Women’s Psychology program and mental health Nurse Practitioners who practice out of the Women’s Hospital.
- Ask to speak with social work while in hospital to review resources and find the best fit for your situation – they can also consult with other services like the Women’s Psychology Program.
- If you are actively suicidal, or having intense thoughts of harming yourself or baby please call 911. See below for a review of the crises phone list in Winnipeg.
This article is not meant to scare you, or make you feel more worried, but as a way to know help is out there if you need it. You are not alone and your mental health is important for you and baby.
Winnipeg Crisis Phone List
Klinic 24 Hour Crisis Line: 204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019
Manitoba Suicide Line (24 Hours): 1-877-435-7170
Mobile Crisis Unit: 204-940-1781 *** Can come to your home ***
Willow Place Crisis Line: 204-615-0311 or 1-877-977-0007
Crisis Stabilization Unit, 755 Portage Avenue: 204-940-3633
Crisis Response Centre, 817 Bannatyne Ave: 204-940-1781ist