Mental health in pregnancy and after birth:
Information and support
Making the decision to have a baby is one of the most important choices a woman will make and becoming a parent is one of the biggest life changes you will experience. Pregnancy and having a baby are associated with many different emotions. It is common to be excited and happy as well as anxious and overwhelmed. For women with mental health problems there are often additional worries. These include the possibility of becoming unwell and whether or not to take medication in pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Women can also worry about the impact of previous difficult relationships, childhood experiences and other traumatic events and how these may affect their mental health and relationship with their baby.
It is important to have the right help, advice and support so that you stay as well as possible during pregnancy and after the birth of your baby. Your mental health matters as much as your physical health in pregnancy and after birth.
Women can experience many different types of mental health problems in pregnancy and the postnatal period. Some women may have already had mental health problems before pregnancy. Other women may become unwell for the first time in pregnancy or after their baby is born. Just like at other times, there is a range of severity.
Anyone can be affected by mental health problems in the perinatal period, so you don't need to feel bad if it happens to you – about 20% of women are affected so it’s very common. There are lots of reasons why trying to conceive, being pregnant, birth and having a baby may be more difficult than you expected.
See below to find out more about specific mental health problems and for links to information and support for pregnancy, parenting and mental health and videos of women's experiences.
Further information & links
Click on the boxes below to find out more
Click on the boxes to link to organisations which provide information and support for women and families
Information about mental health
before during and after pregnancy
Videos of women and partners talking about perinatal mental health problems
Perinatal Positivity Film about support for perinatal mental health
Animated stories of women's experience of perinatal mental illness
Videos of parents and professionals discussing perinatal mental health problems and treatment
Action on Postpartum Psychosis
Videos of women talking about their experience of postpartum psychosis
Videos of women talking about their experience of antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety