Getting help for depression and anxiety in pregnancy
If you feel depressed or anxious when you’re pregnant, it may make it harder for you to take care of your health.
You might avoid prenatal medical care, and you may not sleep or eat well because of how you are feeling.
Getting help for depression and anxiety is important for both your health and your baby's health.
On this page:
- Treatment for depression and anxiety
- Treatment options
- Talking to your health care provider
- If you’re going through a crisis or thinking about suicide
- Find more help and support
Treatment for depression and anxiety
Treatment for depression and anxiety during pregnancy offers protection for your mental health after the birth of your baby.
If you are treated early, you can:
- reduce the effects of depression and anxiety on your baby
- lower your risk of developing postpartum depression and anxiety
If you are depressed or anxious, you may need counselling or medication, or both.
If counselling doesn’t help, your health care provider may prescribe medication that’s safe for your baby. The latest research shows there are types of antidepressant and anti-anxiety medication that are safe to use during pregnancy.
Getting medical help is the most important thing you can do for your recovery.
Your partner, family or friends can help to support you as well. Some ways they can assist you and show you they care can include:
- going with you to medical appointments
- helping with daily chores around the house like cooking and cleaning
- offering to babysit if you have other children
Talking to your health care provider
Sometimes it is hard to know if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, or if you’re feeling the symptoms of pregnancy. The symptoms can be similar and confusing.
Talk to your health care provider about how you are feeling. You might have to talk about your feelings several times. Make sure to talk about:
- how strong your emotions are (for example, how sad you feel)
- how often you have these emotions (for example, how often you cry)
- how your emotions are affecting:
- your life
- your ability to take care of yourself
- your home or work
- your interactions with your partner, family and friends
- how much you are sleeping or eating, which can be not enough or too much
- if you have had any feelings of hopelessness and suicidal thoughts
Tell your health care provider everything about:
- what you do
- how you feel
- what you think
Especially if your thoughts and actions scare you, share them with your health care provider.
If your health care provider is not around, go to the closest emergency medical centre to talk to someone.
If you’re going through a crisis or thinking about suicide
It's important to get help if you or someone you know is going through a crisis or thinking about suicide. You're not alone.
Here are some resources available to you:
- Call your health care provider right away
- Find a crisis centre you can call right now any time
- Call the First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line at 1-855-242-3310 any time
Find more help and support
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