Mental Health Information for New Parents

By Linda Cove, RN, BScN, Ottawa Public Health May 6, 2020

Being a new parent can be an emotional time under regular circumstances. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are even more challenges to face. That is why it is so important to know where to get information to help you at this stage. Check out our website for resources on being pregnant or parenting during COVID-19. 

The Royal also has some great resources for new parents who may be struggling with post-partum mood disorder during COVID-19. Don’t forget that partners can also become depressed or anxious during pregnancy or after the birth of their baby, and these tips can help them as well.

  • If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember it is ok to put your baby safely in their crib/playpen and leave her for a short time to take a break. 
  • Start some healthy practices, such as learning to check in with your mood. Notice and name your emotions and their intensity. Your emotions will change over time, and remember that no one is 100% sad or 100% happy all the time.
  • Practice staying in the present! If you find your brain thinking about should be or what is supposed to be, challenge those thoughts with a mantra that works for you, such as: “This is Us, and we’re perfectly Us.” 
  • Practice self-care! Have a shower or bath, make your bed, remember to care for yourself like you care for your baby.  
  • Look for fun online activities for you and your baby. For example, baby and me yoga, baby and me salsa, baby massage, etc.  
  • Ask for help when you need it. Make a list of people who can support you. These could be professionals like a public health nurse or a therapist, or personal support people like friends, relatives, or neighbours. Practice saying “yes” when trusted people offer help.
  • Make connections in other ways than in person, such as by telephone, letter, Facebook, Zoom, or through online parenting groups.
  • Postpartum Support International is a good resource for online support  Start and keep a “baby and me” journal. 

If you are looking for more information to support you as a new parent, go to To speak with a public health nurse, call our Baby Help Line at 613-580-6744 ext. 23774, 7 days a week, from 9am to 3pm.