Canadian Mental Health Nova Scotia: Maternal Hub Support and Resources to improve mothers’ Mental Health. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of programs and resources available to you locally, across Canada and internationally. Whether you are thinking about becoming pregnant, are pregnant or a new mom, we’re here for you.

Baby Blues

  • Occurs in about 80% of women
  • Usually within the first week after birth, often when the milk comes in
  • Symptoms include crying easily, a lack of confidence and feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or a loss of control
  • This usually lasts about a week or so
  • Symptoms are relieved by getting more rest and sleep, reducing pain (breasts, perineum, incision), being surrounded by supportive family and friends

Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD)

Risk factors include:

  • Medical history (previous anxiety disorder, sister/mother who suffered, PMS)
  • Life factors (significant loss in past two years, divorce, history of abuse/neglect/addictions, unsupportive partner, unwanted pregnancy, perfectionist, controlling personality)
  • The birth experience (unwanted interventions, birth plan changed, baby’s health, disappointment about sex of baby, etc.)

Ways To Avoid The Onset Of PPMD

  • Plan for a calm, reassuring physical presence for at least a few hours a day for the first two weeks
  • Have someone who can be responsible for household tasks, such as laundry, cooking and shopping
  • Have someone who can be called anytime of the day or night who you feel comfortable with
  • Get a referral to a specialist in PPMD, just to be safe

Symptoms Of PPMD

  • Depression (too much/little sleep, crying, anger, weight loss/gain, feelings of guilt/inadequacy, excessive worries, loss of energy/interest)
  • Anxiety/panic (muscle tension, shortness of breath, hot/cold flashes, tingling of hands/feet, agitation, restlessness, anger/rage, nausea/vomiting, dizziness)
  • OCD behaviors (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder)
  • **Extreme and very rare psychosis (poor judgment, impulsivity, irrational thoughts, break with reality, confusion)

How To Help

  • Listen to her concerns and validate her feelings. Many people will tell her it’s normal, don’t worry, she’s just suffering from baby blues, etc. You may be the only one to really hear her concerns.
  • Refer her to a postpartum doula, for support and extra help. See for local certified postpartum doulas.
  • Refer her to Reproductive Mental Health Service at the IWK Health Centre.