How the Reproductive Mental Health Program at BC Women’s Hospital supported Ana on her journey

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A message to our readers: the following article covers mental health and depression during pregnancy.

Ana moved from Brazil to Vancouver in 2016. Shortly after her move she met her partner, got married, and found out she was pregnant… all by 2018. “I had a totally different life in only two years.”

She describes how all this change in such a short period of time, combined with the hormones of pregnancy took a toll on her mental health. She was in a very dark place. “All of my family and friends were back home, so sometimes it felt like my husband was my only support.”

Ana was diagnosed with depression at the beginning of her pregnancy. She was experiencing complete hopelessness and despair. She felt like she wasn’t able to function. When she was referred to the Reproductive Mental Health Program at BC Women’s Hospital by her family doctor, she finally felt like she had somewhere to go for help.

“I always felt a sense of hope after my appointments. I could speak and not be judged. That feeling was the most memorable for me, at a time when I felt so lost.”

She accessed one-on-one sessions with psychiatrist, Dr. Trish Bowering, and Nurse Clinician, Terri Kipnis. She also attended the program’s Mindfulness Groups. Their program’s next goal is to translate their guided meditations to an online platform so women outside of the lower mainland can also access these same mindfulness-based interventions. They have proven benefits for women and their partners.

When Ana’s time with the program came to an end she felt healthy and happy. She felt like she had grown. “I really hope other women can experience the same support I received from this program.”



  • Buy tickets for GLOW, an interactive broadcast raising funds for reproductive mental health research.
  • Donate today to ensure women’s reproductive mental health needs are met.
  • Learn more about our Reproductive Mental Health campaign.
  • Do you have a lived experience with reproductive mental health you’d like to share? Use your voice. By sharing your story, women across the province can relate, find solace, and muster the courage to share theirs too.

BC Women’s Health Foundation is BC’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the full spectrum of women’s health. The information shared is intended to educate, inform, and point readers to credible sources. It is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. 

If you are struggling with your mental health, or concerned about someone else, call the BC Mental Health Support Line: 310-6789 (do not add 604, 778 or 250 before the number). It’s free and available 24 hours a day. If you prefer to access help and support via email, contact bcpartners@heretohelp.bc.ca.