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Pregnancy journey

Mental health and wellbeing in pregnancy

Emotional highs and lows are natural and normal when you're pregnant. Most women have good mental health during their pregnancy, though some find it harder to manage.

You can help yourself stay mentally well while pregnant and preparing for the birth of your baby. 

It's normal to experience worries

Being pregnant and becoming a parent:

  • is an enormous change
  • takes time to get used to
  • brings enormous differences, from work and social life to relationships and finances.

You might worry about:

  • how you'll cope
  • whether you'll be a good enough parent
  • labour and giving birth 
  • felling alone or unsupported
  • bonding with your baby.

It's no wonder there'll be times when you feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster.

Remember, though, you're not alone. Dads and partners can feel the same. 

Discussing problems

Some women have mental health problems for the first time during pregnancy, including:

  • depression
  • anxiety, including panic and obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • tokophobia - an extreme fear of giving birth.

Try to share how you're feeling with someone you trust, and talk about the things that are worrying you. 

If you think things aren't right or you're starting to feel anxious or low, talk to your midwife and ask for help.

If you have a mental health condition, the earlier you get help and support the better. With the right support there's every chance you'll recover well. 

All pregnant women have physical checks at antenatal appointments and some mental health checks. They could be conversations about how you're feeling or a questionnaire.

There may also be a local Maternity Voices Partnership group that can offer advice. 

Existing mental health conditions

Women who have existing mental health conditions may find the severity of their condition changes during pregnancy. Again this may be due to changes in hormone levels, or changes in your medications that have been advised by your midwife or GP, or just the added anxiety a pregnancy can bring on top of an existing condition.

Please ensure any people who work with you around existing mental health problems are made aware of your pregnancy. If you have not yet checked with your GP around medications, do this as soon as possible. 

If you are the partner of someone with existing mental health conditions they may need your support with attending antenatal appointments and managing new medications. 

For more information, please click here.  

Local mental health support services

2019-07-03 (7)

Your baby is now officially an embryo and is about the size of a poppy seed.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/4-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (4)

Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean and weighs 1g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/8-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (6)

Welcome to the second trimester!

Your baby is about the size of a small lime and weighs approximately 14g.

You have hopefully seen your midwife for your 'booking in' appointment, if you have not yet seen a midwife please make an appointment quickly, so you can have all of your choices about screening tests explained and offered to you.

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/12-weeks-pregnant/ for more information. You can also link to the 'Pregnancy Journey' area here.  

2019-07-03

Your baby is about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 100g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/16-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (2)

Your baby has grown in length and is now the length of a small banana and weighs approximately 300g. Around this time you will be offered your '20 week' scan, also known as the 'anatomy' or 'anomaly' scan.Click here for more information about screening. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/20-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (8)

Your baby has grown again to the approximate length of an ear of sweetcorn and weighs about 600g. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/24-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (1)

Welcome to the third trimester!

Your baby is now approximately the weight of an aubergine; about 1kg and approximately 37cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/28-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (3)

Your baby now weighs approximately the same as a coconut; around 1.5kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/32-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (5)

Your baby is now around the same size as a lettuce, approximately 47cm long and weighs around 2.6kg. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/36-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.

2019-07-03 (9)

Your baby is now the weight of a small watermelon which is approximately 3.3kg and around 50cm in length. 

Please visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/40-weeks-pregnant/ for more information.