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After Pregnancy/Postpartum

Feelings After the Birth of Your Baby

Perinatal Mental Health refers to the range of mental health parents experience during the perinatal period (from pregnancy to 1 year after the baby arrives). Being an expecting or new parent is a big change that can bring a range of emotions and challenges.

Your mental health affects how you feel, your thoughts, what you say and do. It may also affect your relationship with your partner, your children and others. Sometimes partners, family or friends notice concerns you may have not yet noticed.

One’s mind and body are connected. Caring for our mental health is just as important as caring for our physical health. You can care for your mental health with healthy practices in the following areas: sleep, physical activity, time outdoors, relaxation, healthy eating, time for self, limiting substance use, and managing technology use.

It is normal to experience some ups and downs in your mood and behaviour. At times it is important to look for support from trained professionals (doctors, nurse practitioners, public health nurses). Perinatal mental health challenges can include anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia. Consider asking for support if you notice changes in yours or someone’s thoughts, feelings and behaviours that:

  • are more intense and more persistent than usual
  • last longer than 2 weeks
  • negatively affect daily routines, relationships and responsibilities. This can include changes in sleep, eating, participation in activities and substance use.

 It is always a good idea to contact your health care provider (doctor, nurse practitioner, midwife, OB) early if you have any perinatal mental health concerns. At the same time, please feel free to speak with a public health nurse for information about perinatal mental health issues, ideas on caring for your mental health, and possible next steps to access care. All parents in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark can contact a public health nurse by calling the Health Unit at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467 or online referral. You may also be interested in the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program.

If you or someone you know is in need of urgent care or you have concerns regarding the safety of yourself or others, please dial 911 or go to the nearest hospital. You may also contact Talk Suicide Canada 24/7 for phone or text support.

Postpartum Information and Resources

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) have developed a comprehensive website that provides up to date information and resources on the following topics;

For specific concerns regarding you or your infant’s health, please contact your health care provider for an assessment. If you do not have a health care provider or access to one, you can access free, secure, confidential health advice through:

Health811or by calling 811 (TTY: 1-866-797-0007) or the East Region Virtual Care Clinic

Feeding Your Newborn

It is important to make an informed decision around feeding your newborn. Below you will find links to information to help guide your decision. If you would like further support please contact the Health Unit to speak with a Public Health Nurse at 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467. 

Infant Feeding Clinic

The Health Unit encourages all parents to seek support from our Infant Feeding Clinics soon after your baby arrives, regardless of feeding method. Early support can boost your confidence to know your baby is doing well. Early breastfeeding support has been proven to have a positive impact on breastfeeding outcomes. Schedule an appointment online or by calling 1-800-660-5853 extension 2467.


It is also important for partners to allow themselves time to adjust to their new role as a parent. The early days of parenting can be overwhelming and confusing. Research shows that children who are raised by involved parents have increased self-esteem, do better in school, and have positive social and language skills. Check out some of these great resources for more information:

Transition to Parenting

Having a realistic outlook is an important part of becoming a parent. Taking care of yourself and maintaining healthy relationships will help you have a successful transition. Check out the links below for information to support you in the journey of parenthood:

 Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Experiencing the loss of a pregnancy or the death of a baby is devastating. It is okay to not be okay and you are not alone. It can be helpful to reach out for support during this difficult time.

The Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network offers peer-led group and individual support services at no cost to families residing in Ontario who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. 

The PAIL network resource library can be a helpful place for families to learn more about infant loss, milk production after loss, support for siblings and grandparents, and helping others understand your grief.

Roger Neilson House delivers multiple services for end-of-life and mourning, including individual and couples counselling, support groups for parents, siblings, and grandparents, Perinatal Hospice (scroll to Perinatal Program) and pregnancy after loss support (PALS).

Bereaved Families of Ontario offers peer based support at no cost to those in need and has compiled lists of resources that families may find helpful

Prophylactic Eye Drops for Newborns

Effective January 1, 2019 a parent may request in writing to their health care professional that prophylactic eye drops not be instilled in the eyes of their newborn under certain conditions. To learn more about the benefits, risks, and options, review the Ophthalmia Neonatorum Fact Sheet.

Healthy Growth and Development

Visit our Babies/Children- Healthy Growth and Development section of the website for information on skin to skin, swaddling, infant sleep, tummy time, physical activity and safety.