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Moods: Coping with depression and my child

When you're suffering from depression, it's wise to let your partner, friends and relatives know how you're feeling, so they can provide help and support. It's not a sign of weakness or failure when you need help - everybody does, at one time or another.

When you're feeling really low, it's a good idea to ask someone to help with the care of your child. However, try and be with your baby or young child as much as possible, so the other caregivers do not take over your role completely. This way, you and your child can still be close, despite the fact that someone else may be helping with the childcare. Even though your depression prevents you from always being there for your child, you've made sure that someone is there for him when you can't be.

Another approach to coping with depression and your child, is to find outside care (a quality childcare centre or home care, nursery or play group). Your child will be safe and stimulated, and you will have time to look after yourself. When your child comes home, you will have more strength for the few hours between dinner and bedtime.

If your depression makes it almost impossible to do anything, it's time to consult your physician. Do so immediately if you feel you might hurt yourself or your baby.

In addition, you may want to contact a service, like Postpartum Adjustment Support Services in Canada: 1-800-897-6660. Or, if you are in Canada, and you wish to speak to a counsellor about this, contact Parent Help Line, 1-888-603-9100.

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