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.
Some women have mental health problems for the first time during pregnancy, including:
- 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.
Please share your experiences of mental health checks and the mental health support you receive with your Maternity Voices Partnership.
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
- Hull depression and anxiety services - Let's Talk
- Perinatal mental health support - Every Mum Matters
- Help if you are in financial difficulty - Bundles of Joy