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Local Maternity System

What is perinatal mental health

The word ‘perinatal’ covers the time from becoming pregnant until your baby’s first birthday. Your mental health during this time is really important, so if you experience problems in your thoughts, feelings or behaviours during this time, this could be considered a perinatal mental health issue.

You could be experiencing a wide range of feelings that are considered perinatal mental health issues - some of which might only have a limited effect on your life, or some which could be making your day-to-day functioning really challenging. Although this is common, recognising these feelings can be difficult when you’re not feeling your best, so we’ve put together this short video to show what signs you can look out for and how to seek help.

Overwhelmed, very emotional or hopeless

When things regularly feel like they’re too much to handle, or your emotions are running higher than you usually experience, this can be a sign you need to seek support. 

Worried something bad might happen, or that everything is out of control

Most parents can feel worried about their little one, but if the worry is taking over your rational thinking, consumes all your thoughts, or you think things might be spiraling out of control, it could be time to talk. 

Having scary, intrusive thoughts or feel like ending your life 

If you’re experiencing severe thoughts about yourself, your baby or those around you, it’s important to seek help immediately. 

Finding it hard to be positive about your baby and feel as though you’re letting them down 

Being a new parent is a big task, but if you are overwhelmed with the feeling of letting them or your partner down, we can help.

Struggling to get out of bed, and day-to-day tasks are getting harder to do

We understand it’s a tiring time and getting plenty of sleep is difficult with a young baby, but if you’re really struggling to get out of bed each day or small tasks are feeling especially difficult to do, it could be a perinatal mental health issue. 

Feeling extremely fearful of childbirth

Worrying about giving birth is normal, but if that fear is causing you to feel upset a lot of the time or feel like you no longer want your baby, you might need some support.

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