New parents, pregnancy, and mental health
It’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you are pregnant. But some women have feelings that do not go away. This can be a sign of something more serious. If you are a new parent, you might get ups and downs after the birth of your baby.
You can access all of Rethink Mental Illness’ advice and information pages on our website here.
This page links to advice and information on new parents, pregnancy, and mental health from the pregnancy charity Tommy's. Their information explains how to stay mentally well during pregnancy and in the postnatal period.
You can click on the following links for Tommy’s information on these subjects:
- Planning a pregnancy when you have a severe mental health illness. This information is for you if you are a woman who has or had a severe mental illness and are planning to have a baby.
- Treatments for severe mental illness before, during and after pregnancy. Information about different treatments for mental illness if you have a severe mental illness and are planning to become pregnant.
- Depression in pregnancy. It’s natural to feel emotional when you are pregnant. But if you’re feeling sad more than you are feeling happy you may have antenatal depression.
- Anxiety and panic attacks in pregnancy. It’s natural to feel a bit anxious when you are pregnant. But if you feel anxious most of the time and find it difficult to relax you may need help.
- Eating disorders in pregnancy. If you are pregnant and have an eating disorder, you can get support.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in pregnancy. Some women develop OCD during pregnancy or after childbirth. This is called perinatal OCD and is more common after giving birth.
- Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If you are having upsetting thoughts after a traumatic event you may have PTSD. This is treatable, so it’s important to ask for help.
- Fear of childbirth, known as tokophobia. Having some anxiety about giving birth is natural. But if you feel so afraid that you don’t want to do it, it’s important to ask for help.
- Bipolar disorder in pregnancy. If you have bipolar disorder in pregnancy, you can get the treatment and support.
- Postnatal depression (PND). Postnatal or postpartum depression is not the same as the ’baby blues’. It is a mental health condition that needs treatment, so it’s important to ask for help.
- Postpartum psychosis. Postpartum psychosis is a very serious mental illness that begins suddenly in the first few days or weeks after having a baby. It can be treated with professional help.
- Postnatal anxiety. Most new parents will feel some anxiety during the first few weeks. But if this anxiety becomes constant and affecting your daily life, you may need some help.
- Recovering from a difficult birth. Some parents feel upset, distressed, or traumatised by childbirth. This information covers what this may mean to you and where you can get support.
How can I get help and support from Tommy’s?
Tommy’s can support you through every stage of your pregnancy. They can do this from conception, to after the birth of your baby, no matter what your experiences have been.
To find out more about how Tommy’s can support you click here.
Last updated October 2023
Next update October 2024
Version number 1
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