Mother’s Day will undoubtedly look different this year. Physical distancing means that some mothers will continue their round-the-clock duties without respite, while others won’t see their children at all. But for new moms, the day comes at a time when they may feel especially vulnerable.
Even under normal circumstances, women who are expecting or who have recently had a baby have an increased risk of mental health problems. In one survey by Statistics Canada, 33 per cent of recent mothers said they were concerned about their mental health, and 23 per cent reported feelings consistent with postpartum depression or an anxiety disorder.
With less support and fewer perinatal mental health resources today, it’s even more important to take stock of what is available. If you or a loved one is experiencing a perinatal mental health problem, consulting with a family doctor is a good place to start. The federal government has also produced an advice guide for new and expectant mothers during COVID-19. For additional support, Postpartum Support International has an extensive list of Canadian resources and a directory of perinatal mental health professionals. In a crisis, local distress centres are always ready to help.
This Mother’s Day, it’s important to pause not only to appreciate the mothers in our own families, but to consider all those who are at the beginning of their lifelong motherhood journey. If there’s a new mom in your life, check in often to offer encouragement, lend a non-judgmental ear and, above all, remind her that she’s not alone. And if you’re a new mom, it’s perfectly normal if you need to reach out for help ꟷ never more so than right now.
President and CEO, Mental Health Commission of Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada
613-683-3748 / firstname.lastname@example.org