Beyond the blues: Mental health in pregnancy and after the baby is born

Getting pregnant, being pregnant, giving birth, and the caring for an infant in their first year of life—it is an emotional time for women and their families. The changes in a woman’s body that come with pregnancy can also change her mood and emotions in ways that may not be expected or welcome for some women. Your expectations, and expectations from others, may not fit with your day-to-day experience.

Coping with so many changes can be stressful, and can put women at risk for developing anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders.

Family doctors have advanced skills and training to support and treat women and their family members with mental health concerns. One out of every six women and one out of every 10 men will have troubling depression or anxiety after the birth or adoption of a child.[1]

“It is important for all women to take care of their emotional health during pregnancy and early parenthood. It’s also a good idea for both mums and dads to learn about mental health symptoms so they can recognise when help is needed if you are finding it difficult to manage from day to day. If you have been feeling sad, down, worried or anxious for a while, and/or this is starting to affect your life, it’s time to seek help.” [2]

The sooner you speak to your family doctor, the sooner you can get help , and the sooner recovery can begin. If you don’t have a family doctor for pregnancy care, you can find one in the directory at

Find a family doctor for your pregnancy and beyond at

Pregnancy Vancouver is a project of the Vancouver Division of Family Practice (VDoFP). The VDoFP is creating a network of Family Doctors to enhance and facilitate knowledge exchange about prenatal and postpartum care, connect Family Doctors, and improve the maternity care referral process.

[1] Pacific Post Partum Support Society

[2] beyondblue