The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is encouraging people to remember that support for mothers suffering from mental health problems before, during and after pregnancy.

According to the health unit, an estimated two in 10 women will suffer from maternal mental health problems during pregnancy and in the first year following birth.

The health unit says that experts are not exactly sure of what causes mental health concerns in mothers, but it is believed that they are related to many factors such as stress, financial worries, changes in hormones, past depression, relationship problems and lack of support.

“Mother’s Day is the special day when we recognize mothers and all they do for us,” says Yona Attis, a nurse with the health unit. “The fact is, however, that many can experience feelings of depression and mood/anxiety disorders during pregnancy and after a baby is born,” she adds. “These feelings can make being a mom very difficult.”

“We see that more than 75-percent of women going through maternal mental health problems do not get diagnosed and do not receive adequate treatment and support,” Attis adds. “This, in turn, can lead to long-term consequences for both mother and baby.”

“Talking to someone about these types of feelings is an important step,” Attis says. “It’s not about blaming or judging the person, but caring and helping them through challenging times.”

Written by Phil McCabe