May 3rd marks World Maternal Mental Health Day, a campaign started in 2015 to raise awareness about the importance of maternal mental health.
Transition to parenthood is not the same for everyone. Expecting and delivering a baby alters a woman’s brain and changes the lives of new parents. Adapting to such changes can be difficult and make some new mothers more vulnerable to mental health disorders. According to the WHO, 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth experience a mental health disorder, with depression being the most common. Post pandemic estimates indicate that these numbers have increased to 1 out of 4 women. Data from the Government of Canada’s 2018-2019 Maternal Mental Health in Canada survey showed that approximately 23% of women experience postpartum depression. IBPOC groups are disproportionately impacted with Indigenous mothers being 20% more likely to suffer from prenatal and postpartum depression than caucasian mothers.
Ensuring that mothers worldwide have access to proper mental health care will ensure that they are able to adapt to their changing life circumstances and properly care for themselves and their children. Intervention during pregancy is required to prevent the onset of postpartum depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.
As part of our mission to promote multidisciplinary research on women's health, the WHRC coordinates a Perinatal Mental Health Working Group, led by Drs. Anna MacKinnon and Tina Montreuil. The goal of this group is to stimulate new research on perinatal mental health and raise awareness about the topic. Interested in getting involved? Please email email@example.com for more information or to join.
This World Maternal Mental Health Day, the WHRC is sharing information on events and resources you can access to learn more and help further the cause. Have a look below!