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.
Being pregnant and becoming a parent:
You might worry about:
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 issues for the first time during pregnancy, including:
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.
If it looks like you need extra support, you may be offered appointments more often or care from a specialist team.
Maintaining your mental health’s important for you and your baby.
Sometimes mental wellbeing can be affected by other problems in your life, including money worries.
Feeling overwhelmed, tired and emotional at times is normal for any mum to be.
If you’re on your own and without a partner to help you, it can feel especially lonely and tough.
In Scotland, 1 in 4 families are single parent, so there are lots of people raising happy, healthy babies without a partner.
It’s important to find some support for those moments and beyond.
You can ask friends and family:
Many professionals and organisations can help too, so don’t be afraid to ask. One Parent Families Scotland can give you help and support too.
As many as 1 in 5 women and 1 in 10 men are affected by mental ill health during pregnancy, and the year after birth.
It’s very important for you and your baby that you seek help. There’s treatment and support available, and the sooner you get help, the sooner you’ll start to feel like yourself again.
If you’re at all concerned, the sooner you access support, the better for you and your baby.
It’s important to know when to get help. Sometimes pregnancy symptoms, such as broken sleep and lack of energy, can be confused with symptoms of mental illness.
If you or your partner are worried about your safety or the safety of others, including your baby, tell your midwife or GP immediately. If your GP practice is closed, phone the NHS 24 111 service.
If your midwife knows your mental health history, there are ways to reduce the risk.
It’s especially important to say if you’ve ever had:
You should also tell your midwife if you, or anyone in your family, has had a bipolar disorder.
It might also be helpful to let them know if you had a difficult or traumatic birth previously and are worried about this.
They can ensure you get the right support during and after your pregnancy.
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2 November 2023