This blog is about life with a baby. It's not always what you expect and there is definitely no job description. Every baby is different and unique which is why motherhood can be so scary, fun, terrifying, exciting, and rewarding all at the same time.

Be sure to also check out our Travel Blog where you can share and read stories about travelling with the family.

We encourage you to share your experiences - by sharing your experiences and commenting on other posts, you may be helping other moms.

  • Sunday, November 05, 2023 11:22 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    Are you a mother grappling with the overwhelming demands of life with a child or teen? You're not alone. Managing the responsibilities of motherhood alongside other obligations can become a daunting task, leading to stress and even psychosomatic symptoms. However, there are ways to take some of that burden off your plate and regain control of your life.

    Listen to Your Body:

    One crucial strategy is to tune in to your body's signals. Our bodies have a limit, and when our minds reach their capacity, physical symptoms such as headaches, tummy aches, and sleep problems can emerge. Recognizing these signals is the first step to managing your stress effectively.

    Ditch the All-Or-Nothing Thinking:

    Picture your life as a plate. Perfectionists tend to overcrowd their plates with negative beliefs and unrealistic expectations of themselves and others. This can lead to people saying "yes" to tasks they can't handle to avoid upsetting others. It's time to break free from this all-or-nothing thinking pattern.

    Stop 'Shoulding' on Yourself:

    Do you often feel guilty when you have downtime and think you "should" be doing something else? Remember, it's important to stop 'shoulding' on yourself. Become aware of your thinking patterns and learn to combat those negative thoughts.

    Learn to Say 'No':

    "NO" is a complete sentence. You can also say, "Not right now." When you're asked for something you can't handle, it's perfectly acceptable to say "no" or set reasonable restrictions on your commitments. You cannot please everyone, and saying 'no' upfront is often better than failing to deliver later.

    Self-Care Is Personal:

    Self-care is about what works for you. Prioritize your time based on your values and standards. Find the right balance between your work, love, and play activities, ensuring you dedicate time to activities that bring you joy. Remember, self-care is not just about your children; it's about you.

    Cherish Yourself:

    Taking time to care for your emotional, physical, and mental well-being is vital. When your plate is full, make space for quality time with your loved ones and focus on what truly matters.


    If you're concerned about your mental health, don't hesitate to reach out to a therapist specializing in maternal mental health. You can find support from organizations like LifeWithABaby ( or explore various online resources like MomsOverMatter ( Your well-being matters, and help is always available."


    Annabella Hagen, "What's on your plate? Stress Management Strategies", PsychCentral, 2016. (no longer available online)  

  • Thursday, October 19, 2023 9:24 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    When it comes to organizing play-dates and meetups, many moms might feel a bit hesitant about taking the plunge. The thoughts of planning the food, spending money, and dealing with the house-cleaning can hold us back from eagerly stepping into the role of the hostess.

    I totally get it. Whenever I plan a play-date, I tend to overthink things and go a bit overboard. Sure, it's nice to have my place smelling like freshly baked cookies and my shelves all dust-free, but I've realized other moms don't really care about the "presentation." They're more interested in socializing, meeting fellow moms, and giving their kids a chance to interact with others outside the home.

    Hosting events for Life With a Baby has been a game-changer for me and many other moms. LWAB encourages its members to come together for various activities like stroller walks, park hangouts, trips to activity centers, coffee catch-ups, and more, all without the added stress of providing food or having a perfectly clean house.

    And here's the cool part - with more and more moms forming play groups and meetups through LWAB, we wanted to let everyone know how simple it is to be what we've coined an "Event Host!"

    So, what's an Event Host? It's basically someone who's all about meeting other parents and kids, someone who's welcoming and loves striking up conversations about everything from surviving teething to planning a much-needed date night.

    To be an event host, all you need to do is show up at the designated play-date/meetup spot at the scheduled time and give a warm welcome to all the parents and kiddos joining in on the fun. It's seriously that easy!

    Being a new parent can feel a bit isolating at times, but being an event host helps you break free from that loneliness. You can get out, connect with other parents, share tips and advice, and possibly start some fantastic friendships that could last a lifetime.

    If you're keen on being one of our awesome Event Hosts post an event at

    Let's make some great memories together!

  • Friday, October 13, 2023 10:28 AM | Mercedes (Administrator)

    When you first find out you're expecting a child, there is much to learn. A lot is going on physically, mentally, and emotionally, and it can be overwhelming. Where do you start? What should I know? The good news is the team you assemble to help make the journey is there to help answer the endless questions that come with pregnancy and birth. Here are 10 questions to ask your OB-GYN or Midwife to get you started.

    1. What changes should I be making now?

    It's essential to make some necessary changes once you find out you're pregnant, such as removing alcohol from your diet and taking prenatal vitamins. But your OB-GYN has even more insights on how you should be adjusting your life to make you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. They can also tailor those changes based on your medical history as well.

    2. What foods should I avoid during my pregnancy?

    Your OB-GYN is the best resource for foods you should eat or avoid during pregnancy. They may recommend you avoid foods such as raw seafood, processed meat such as hot dogs, fish with high mercury, raw sprouts and drinking alcohol. So, no sushi till after the baby is born!

    3. How much weight should I gain during my pregnancy?

    First, it's more about health than the scale. Your doctor can help keep you on the right track regarding your weight during pregnancy. Healthy weight gain during pregnancy is dependent on your pre-pregnancy weight. Gaining weight during pregnancy is absolutely typical and expected. However, coupled with your medical history, gaining too much weight can put you at risk for gestational diabetes, among other ailments.

     4. What pregnancy symptoms are typical? And which ones are not?

    Morning sickness and back pain are common symptoms during pregnancy, but your doctor can give you insight into what may not be the norm. Suppose you are experiencing high blood pressure, swelling, vision issues, protein in your urine, severe pain, headache, or nausea. In that case, it is an early sign of preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy that can lead to severe and fatal complications for a mother and her baby if left untreated. Be sure to inform your doctor of everything you are experiencing so they can attend to those complications before they get too serious.

    5. What physical exercises are safe to do?

    Staying active during pregnancy keeps you and your baby healthy and relieves pregnancy symptoms. Most physical exercises are safe except abdominal exercises or exercises that keep you lying flat on your back for long periods. Ask your doctor to refer you to a physiotherapist or personal trainer for a second opinion and safe pregnancy exercises.

    6. Is travelling during my pregnancy safe to do?

    In most cases, travelling during a pregnancy is relatively safe to do. Most doctors would recommend that you stop travelling from 37 weeks onward, but some people still travel late into their pregnancy. There are many perspectives on this, so don't hesitate to ask your doctor what they recommend.

    7. Will I be able to work during my pregnancy?

    Depending on the nature of your work, in most cases, you can continue during your pregnancy until closer to your due date. If any complications arise, your doctor might advise that you work from home for the remainder of your pregnancy or even commit you to bed rest to encourage a safe delivery.

    8. Should I take prenatal classes?

    Prenatal classes are a great way for you and your partner to prepare even more for your new addition. Not everyone takes advantage of these classes, but they are worth a try, and your doctor would not dissuade you from going either!

    9. What should I expect from labour and delivery? Should I have a birth plan?

    As you get closer to your due date, you'll think about what labour and delivery would be like, especially if this is your first pregnancy. Do you want a natural birth? Or a scheduled Cesarian section? To get an epidural or not to get an epidural? These are all important questions that you can ask your doctor. Consider creating a birth plan with your doctor and partner to give you peace of mind and a plan or any possibility.

    10. How often should I have my appointments with my OB-GYN?

    You must have regular appointments with your doctor during your pregnancy. For a somewhat normal pregnancy, it's recommended that you see your doctor every 4 weeks from the time you find out up to 28 weeks. Then every 2 weeks from 28 weeks and then weekly from week 37 until you give birth. Your doctor might want to see you more frequently, especially if you've been experiencing complications throughout your pregnancy. To help ease your mind, create a prenatal care plan with your doctor during the early stages of your pregnancy, including postnatal care.

    You'll have many questions for your OB-GYN or midwife throughout your pregnancy, but the point is not to be afraid to ask. Your doctor or midwife is a part of your birthing team and is there to help you have a safe and happy pregnancy, delivery and beyond. Write your questions down so it's easy to remember when you're with your practitioner. There are no stupid questions regarding an event as complex as pregnancy. Ask away!

  • Saturday, September 23, 2023 5:53 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    Do you need to travel this fall for Thanksgiving, or to enjoy fall leaves, or for any other reason? We have some tips on how to make it easier! 

    Traveling long distances by car with a baby can seem daunting, but with proper planning and organization, it can be an enjoyable experience. This guide will help you prepare for a successful and fun trip to Grandma's house.

    Before the Trip

    Planning the Trip:

    • Consider Your Baby's Sleep Schedule:
    • Plan your travel time to coincide with your baby's nap or bedtime.
    • If your baby doesn't sleep well in the car, start the journey right after a nap or in the morning.

    Break the Trip:

    • Avoid long stretches in the car by planning stops along the way to give everyone a break.

    Factor in Extra Time:

    • Be prepared for unplanned surprises, such as diaper changes or fussy moments.

    Pack Essentials:

    • Ensure you have everything you need for a pleasant trip, including window shades, a cooler for drinks, toys, baby-friendly music, a rear-view baby mirror, and books to read to your baby.

    Preparing the Car

    Utilize the Backseat Space:

    • If possible, have one adult sit in the backseat next to the baby for company and comfort.
    • If traveling alone, get creative in setting up the car and plan for more frequent stops. Mirrors help you to see baby. 

    Create a Traveling Entertainment Center:

    • If rear facing car seat is instructions say to have handle up while driving, you can hang toys from it. OR
    • Hang lightweight toys from the ceiling using ribbons or yarn. Ensure they are not too long. 
    • Tape colorful pictures of toys on the back of the seat facing your baby.
    • Set up a box of easily accessible toys next to the car seat.
    • Provide a large box of toys and switch out options when you take driving breaks. 

    Bring Snacks and Drinks:

    • Pack snacks and drinks for your baby and yourself, even if you plan to stop for meals.

    Entertainment for Adults:

    • Borrow books on CD (if your car has a cd player) or borrow ebooks from library, or create a playlist of soothing music for adults to enjoy during your baby's naps.
    • Download podcasts 

    Be Prepared for the Dark:

    • If traveling at night, bring a battery-operated nightlight or flashlight.

    Car Travel Checklist:

    • Well-stocked diaper bag
    • Change pad if you need to change in creative places
    • Baby's blanket
    • Car seat pillow or head support
    • Window shades (sun screens)
    • Change of clothes for your baby
    • Change of shirt for adults easily accessible (so you don't arrive smelling like spit up) 
    • Toys and books
    • Baby food, snacks, and drinks
    • Sipper cups
    • Snacks and drinks for adults
    • Cooler
    • Wet washcloths or moist towelettes
    • Empty plastic bags for leftovers and trash
    • Bottle warmer
    • Baby's regular sleep music or white noise (with extra batteries)
    • First aid kit/prescriptions/medications
    • Money/wallet/purse/ID
    • Medical and insurance information/emergency phone numbers
    • Maps/driving directions
    • Baby carrier/sling/stroller
    • Suitcases

    During the Journey

    Be Flexible:

    • Accept that changes can happen and try to stay relaxed and adaptable.

    Stop When Needed:

    • Avoid pushing too far with a crying baby; take breaks to calm your baby.

    Prioritize Safety:

    • Keep your baby in the car seat, and if nursing, pull over to feed your baby in the car seat to avoid potential accidents.

    Never Leave Your Baby Alone:

    • Remember, never leave your baby unattended in the car, even for a brief moment.

    On the Way Home

    Prepare for the Return Trip:

    • Ensure all supplies are refilled and ready.
    • Plan the best departure time.
    • Reflect on previous trips for improvements.

    By following these tips and staying organized, you can make your car trip with a baby not only manageable but also enjoyable for everyone involved. Safe travels!

  • Sunday, August 27, 2023 11:37 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    Session 2 Materials:  

    • PMAD Symptom Checklist 

    • Cognitive Triangle image

    • Cognitive Triangle practice

    • Unhelpful Thinking Habits


    • Additional Materials:

    • Managing Depression: A Self-Help Skills Book for Parents Experiencing Depression

  • Friday, August 04, 2023 10:55 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    Should you take your child to see the Barbie movie?  This was my question before I saw the movie. I have an 8 year old daughter who loves Barbies. We have a Barbie “room” of our house - where she plays with her dream house and dolls. Some of the dolls are mine, and when we play together it brings memories of me playing with my Barbies for hours, by myself and with friends! I also have a 10 year old son, who while would not be interested in the content, likes going to the show with us. 

    My daughter, though, is also growing up in the time of non-stop media. She does not have social media, but still gets exposed to some through videos on YouTube (she has taught me many TikTok dances - or tried to teach me as I lack coordination). 

    I have been getting a lot of content about the Barbie movie in my social media feeds. Most have been praising it for its take on the patriarchy. I have seen the America Ferrera speech in a few reels (and absolutely loved it!!) 

    I have also seen the quote “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back to see how far they have come. By Ruth”. As a mom, I now feel this more, and have much more respect for my mom, aunts, grandmother, and really all women who have helped me become who I am today. 

    I do not think the movie would have held my daughters attention for the whole time. She would love the first part, when everything is awesome in Barbie Land. I think she would also be ok with some of the time in the real world. While I understand the movie is a trope of patriarchy, I would not want her to see how Ken acted (overacted) when he returned and turned it to Kenland. While the acting of Ken’s and Barbie’s is done to be over the top so that it was laughable, I do not think that is a distinction my daughter would be able to pick up. When it is available to watch at home, I would watch it with them, as going to the movies with my kids is still a lot of work (and I don’t look nearly as put together as Beyonce did a few years ago at the awards show giving her daughter a juice box) - and it would allow us more time to discuss the behaviours, the reason for the behaviours, and how our actions can affect others. 

    However, from an adult perspective, the movie was great!! The over the top acting, the bright colours, the details in the costume and set design were phenomenal! I preemptively laughed out loud when Barbie was in the real world and actually had a liquid in the cup as I expected she would spill the drink (and the other audience members quickly caught up with me). 

    I love that the movie addresses mental health concerns - both in the dolls and in humans. I love that is shows how interconnected the mental health journey of those we care for can affect not just the person who is feeling low, but also others in their circle. 

    I love that the speech by actress America Ferrerra is what snapped Barbie out of her mental fog was so clever. While much of it resonated with me (and many friends who have shared it) the part of the quote  “You’re supposed to love being a mother but you don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also look out for other people.” really struck a nerve. This ties to the “Managing the Motherload” that we are all called to do - juggling motherhood, careers, friends, family, hobbies, self-care, etc. It is impossible to manage it all and we need to find ways to create a village that can help us do it. 

    I also love that they are allowing non-prototypical Barbies feel seen! I resonate with both Weird Barbie (and her love of Birkenstocks) and Depression Barbie.  

    So I think you should go to see it - either with a friend, family member, or by yourself! I think that you should discuss the content with your children - and your mother - and your friends - and your partner - and everyone! And you can use that to start to create your own village. 

    If you got this far, I will share this quote FOR you, for any time you may be feeling like you are not enough  “You are so beautiful and so smart and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough.”

  • Sunday, July 16, 2023 12:43 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    An expectant or new mom in your life is diagnosed with PMADs – now what?

    A formal diagnosis of Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD) may relieve you that what’s been affecting your loved one has a name. Panic can follow that moment of relief. Now what? How do you help support your loved one’s journey through this. 

    PMADs include symptoms that can affect women during and up to a year after pregnancy with sometimes debilitating emotional and physical difficulties. Disorders include depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder and psychosis. Each jeopardizes the quality of life, ability to function, and overall pleasure and happiness of those affected.

    Even though you may feel underqualified, you’re an essential part of the recovery process. Besides a formal treatment plan, you can support progress with practical and emotional support. Below we’ve compiled 5 ways you can help the new mom in your life, starting today.

    1. Educate yourself

     The more you understand about what your loved one is going through, the better a supporter you’ll be. Learn as much as you can about symptoms, treatment, and availability of resources in your local area. This learning process enables you to become an advocate. Many times, it’s a partner, family member, or friend who embodies the first line of defense by recognizing and then advocating for help on behalf of their loved one. “The more you know” has never been more accurate.


    2. Get engaged in the treatment process

    The first step on the road to recovery is a treatment plan built to address the unique needs of the person navigating a mood and anxiety disorder. Finding the right practitioners and a mix of treatment types can take what seems like a herculean effort. By helping with this process, you’re supporting it. Do they need help to find an empathetic doctor? Do they need a ride, childcare, or removal of some responsibilities to make it to therapy appointments? Could you arrange for prescription drop-offs with the pharmacy? Is a peer-support program available in your area? Think of practical ways to overcome barriers that sometimes make it too hard to start or stick to a treatment plan.

    3. Offer breaks

    Offering a mom a break from daily parenting routines and tasks can help to ease feelings of being overwhelmed. Simple gestures such as allowing the person to nap while you take over cleaning or taking the baby out for a walk while mom takes an uninterrupted shower, or caring for older children. Taking over responsibilities for household tasks is also helpful, as it allows the parent to focus on baby duties, rather than also worrying that domestic responsibilities are piling up. Offering small but consistent actions where the person can score moments to recharge and regroup go a long way to help move recovery in the right direction.

    4. Be mindful of language

    Once you know more about what the person is going through, work to be mindful of how you refer to the challenges and actions (or non actions) of the person affected to help combat stigma. Use non-judgemental language and become a champion listener. Seemingly harmless comments like “The house is a mess,” “You’re tired? Didn’t you nap today?” or “Have you taken your meds?” can have a negative impact. Instead, focus on acknowledgement, reassurance, and progress. “I know how long the day must have seemed today, you’re doing a great job,” “What can I order in for our dinner? Feeding the little one is hard enough!”, “You must be tired. I’ll take it from here”, “I’m checking in. How are you feeling today? How can I help?”  

     5. Be patient

     Recovery takes time. It may be an extended period before the person feels ‘well’ again and you may need to sustain your efforts, turning them into a new routine rather than a short-term ‘project.’ Accept that there is no ‘normal’ timeframe for recovery since no two people or experiences are the same. In fact, it often takes multiple adjustments to get the treatment ‘formula’ right. Exercise patience with each other, and yourself. It’s much harder to assist someone else when you’re running on empty. Make sure taking care of yourself is also a priority and call in reinforcements when needed – it takes a village.

     Turning a desire to help someone into action, is to be commended. Join forces with your friends, family, and the treatment community to foster the best possible outcome for everyone affected. 

    Life With A Baby also offers Mental Health Services free to our members. There is individual counselling, couples counselling, and group support. You can learn more and book a session at 

    Blog originally posted by Mercedes 

  • Thursday, July 13, 2023 5:02 PM | Allison (Administrator)

    In our previous blog, we discussed what vaccines are, how they work, and why we need them. Now that we know the basic information about vaccines, it’s time to learn more about what the process may look like for children. Below, you’ll find helpful tips and resources to help ensure you can make the right decision for your child, and prepare for what to expect. 

    For a complete overview of vaccination for children, visit A Parent's Guide to Vaccination.

    Your child's vaccination schedule

    Vaccination schedules can vary slightly, depending on the province or territory you live in. This means that some provinces or territories will vaccinate at a different age.

    Typically, your child will be vaccinated:

    • Between birth to 2 months

    • At 4 months

    • At 6 months

    • Between 12 months and 18 months

    • Between 4 to 6 years of age

    Find your child’s Vaccinations Schedule

    Where to get vaccinated

    To find out where you can get your child vaccinated, you can:

    • Contact your healthcare provider

    • Search for your nearest public health office 

    Visit the provincial and territorial immunization resources page for more information specific to your area

    What to expect at your child's vaccination appointment

    Before the Appointment

    • Plan ahead to make the vaccination experience a more positive one.

    • Consider bringing something to keep your child's mind off the vaccination, such as a game, book, music or video.

    • If you or your child have fears or anxiety about vaccination, reach out to your health care provider before the appointment for options that might help.

    • If you have a personal vaccination record for your child, bring it with you to your appointment. If you don't have one, ask for one at your appointment.

    • Did you know? You can use the CARD system (Comfort, Ask, Relax, Distract) to find more strategies to help improve the vaccination experience. Learn more about the CARD system.

    Learn more about preparing for your child's vaccination appointment.

    Before leaving the clinic

    Remind your health care provider to record the vaccination in your child's personal vaccination record. If you don't have one, ask for one now.

    Make an appointment for your child's next vaccination.

    You'll be asked to wait for at least 15 minutes after the vaccination to make sure your child doesn't have an allergic reaction.

    Serious allergic reactions to vaccines are very rare. Signs of a serious allergic reaction may include:

    • breathing problems (wheezing)

    • swelling of the face, tongue or throat

    • red rash on the skin (hives)

    If you think your child is experiencing a serious allergic reaction, alert a staff member at the clinic right away. They have medication on hand to manage allergic reactions.

    After the vaccination

    Most children tolerate vaccines well. In some cases, your child may:

    • Be fussy

    • Have a mild fever

    • Be sleepier than usual

    • Have pain, swelling or redness where the injection was given

    These reactions are normal and usually go away within a few days. You can give your child medication to help with the pain or to lower a fever. Check with your child's health care provider if you need advice about which medication to use.

    Who to talk to for vaccine advice

    It is important to get the facts about vaccination from reliable sources. Talk to a trusted health care provider about your child's vaccinations, or search the internet for information from reputable sources, such as your local Public Health Unit.

    How To Find Reliable Health Information Online

    Watch: Evaluating information on the Internet

    This blog post was supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge. 

    The Public Health Agency of Canada launches a national ...

  • Saturday, July 08, 2023 10:40 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    What’s a Vaccine? 

    How Do Vaccines Work?

    Why Do We Need Vaccines?

    When it comes to vaccination, deciding if and when to vaccinate our children is a big decision! Of course, vaccine information was available even before the pandemic made vaccines a central issue. Still, then and now, it can be hard to find trusted information based on scientific evidence and facts. 

    Since we have more and more access to information thanks to the internet and social media, it's more important than ever to ensure you're getting genuine, accurate and proven information to base your decisions on. 

    Life With A Baby has partnered with the Public Health Agency of Canada to share some trusted resources on how to find the correct information for you and your family. 

    What’s a Vaccine?

    Vaccines are tools that work with the body's natural defenses (the immune system) to develop protection against diseases without the risks that come from getting the diseases

    How Do Vaccines Work?

    Vaccines help lower our risk of infection. They work with the body's natural defenses to develop protection against a disease.

    The main components in all vaccines are antigens. Once in the body, antigens cause the immune system to react by creating:

    • Antibodies

    • Immune memory

    This process helps destroy specific germs that could make you or your child sick. Being vaccinated will prevent the disease or lessen its impact.

    If your child isn't vaccinated against some germs, they can get very sick. This is because their immune system isn't prepared to handle the germs.

    Why Do We Need Vaccines?

    Vaccines have successfully lowered the rates of disease in countries with strong vaccination programs.

    Some of the diseases that vaccines prevent (like measles, mumps and polio) have no treatment or cure. These diseases can cause:

    • Severe illness

    • Disability

    • Death

    Even with improved living conditions and modern hygiene, vaccines are still very important to prevent infections that could make your child very sick.

    Some diseases are now rarely seen in Canada because of long-term high rates of vaccination in the population, including:

    • Polio

    • Rubella

    • Diphtheria

    High rates of vaccination against these diseases help to prevent further spread and outbreaks. The best way to protect your children's health is to prevent these diseases in the first place by keeping their vaccinations up to date. 

    This blog post was supported by the Public Health Agency of Canada, Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge. 

    The Public Health Agency of Canada launches a national ...

  • Sunday, July 02, 2023 12:19 AM | Allison (Administrator)

    Removing the shroud of mystery surrounding Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders moves the needle closer to prevention and treatment. It also helps to normalize talking about it, so that people know they are not alone. 

    PMADs is a collective name for multiple disorders

    Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders is a name given to a group of disorders that new or expectant moms can experience. It includes depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and psychosis. Each disorder and related the symptoms can appear alone, in combination, and to varying degrees. A diagnosis from a medical practitioner is a crucial first step to avoiding adverse long-term effects by receiving the proper treatment and support needed to foster recovery. PMADs are temporary and treatable by combining peer-support, self-care, talk therapy, and if needed, medication.

    PMADs can develop during pregnancy

    Often thought of as a post-delivery challenge, mood and anxiety disorders can start long before baby arrives. The perinatal period includes pregnancy, and up to one-year post delivery. Symptoms may be subtle or overt, sudden or gradual. Many women don’t realize what they’re experiencing and may need help to recognize the signs and seek assistance. With early diagnosis, a treatment plan, and support can reduce overall effects and recovery time.

    PMADs may not look the way you think it does

    If asked to say the first feeling associated with PMADs, sadness often comes to mind. However, the symptoms of each disorder can vary, and be atypical. Anger, frustration, panic, and reclusiveness are just as common. As a general rule, if any of these symptoms affect the person most of the time and negatively impact the quality of life, treatment may be necessary. As a first step, taking the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale can help to determine whether someone should take additional steps.

    PMADs affect a lot of people

    Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders affect up to 1 in 4 expectant or new moms, making it a significant public health concern (Statistics Canada, 2019). It can also affect fathers, and other caregivers. With such high numbers, someone you know has likely suffered, often in silence. By learning more, and becoming part of a vital support system parents need as they adjust to the new normal, we can lessen the long-term effects. In fact, prevention and reduction of PMADs are possible just by taking part in a peer support system. LWAB offers peer support at many levels, such as events, HOPE support groups, and free and pay what you can therapy. 

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