Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health

What is it?

The transition to motherhood is a time of great emotional change. Although many of these changes may be positive, it is normal for some women to also experience periods of low mood and increased anxiety. These tend to resolve themselves, however for a small percentage of women this low mood and/or anxiety can go on to have a more significant impact upon their wellbeing. This may be impacted by a previous history of a mental health disorder, relationship/family difficulties, previous pregnancies and other life stressors.

What are the symptoms?

The majority of women experience a period of low mood, anxiety and tearfulness after having a baby, and these generally peak on the 5thday and then start to subside. However if you are experiencing symptoms lasting longer than 10-14 days either during pregnancy or in the post natal period it may be that you need to seek further support. Symptoms may include:

  • Low mood
  • Difficulties going to sleep, staying asleep or waking early
  • Poor concentration
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt ‘not good enough’
  • Hopelessness
  • Overwhelmed by the adjustment to pregnancy/motherhood
  • Avoidance of people/social situations
  • Difficulties bonding with the unborn child/new baby
  • Poor appetite
  • Lack of enjoyment

What are the therapies that can help? 

Related issues

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