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Your mental wellbeing before and after having a baby 

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Support to stay well before, during and after your pregnancy

Having a baby is a big life event and it can be really difficult to feel able to talk openly about how you are feeling when you become a new parent. It’s natural to feel a range of emotions during pregnancy, and after birth. But if difficult feelings start to have a big effect on your day to day life, you might be experiencing a perinatal mental health problem. It's important to ask for help or support if you need it, and you're likely to find that many new parents are feeling the same way.

You can find more information on perinatal mental health from MIND here

What is Perinatal Mental Health

You may hear professionals talk about 'perinatal mental health' 

Perinatal means the period of time from when you or your partner became pregnant, and up to two years after birth.

Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in these first two years after birth.

Facts about Perinatal Mental Health 

  • 🤰  During this time, a period of poor mental health, or worsening of existing mental health conditions is common 
  • 🤱 Nearly 1 in 5 women have emotional challenges during pregnancy or within the first year after giving birth.
  • 👩‍🦰  Additionally, about 70% of women may downplay or hide the severity of their feelings.
  • 🧔 Postnatal depression is estimated to affect up to 1 in 10 men.
  • 👩‍👧 Single mums are about three times more likely to experience periods of depression compared to other groups.
  • 🧕 Mums from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities may experience higher rates of postnatal depression and anxiety than other groups. 

What might it feel like? 

Some of the things you may feel are:

  • 🥀 Feeling Really Sad: This can happen before the baby comes and after the baby is born. It's sometimes called prenatal, or post-natal depression. Remember men can have it too.
  • 😟 Worrying Too Much: Sometimes, parents are unable to stop worrying about their baby and everything else.
  • 😨 Feeling Scared: You might have moments when you feel scared about the future, or your relationship.
  • 🤔 Thinking About Things Over and Over: You may think about things again and again, these thoughts can be upsetting and may be hard to talk about.
  • 😭 Fluctuating moods: You might have times when you feel happy, but then suddenly, feel very sad out of nowhere.
  • 😕 Feeling Very Confused: Some parents might feel confused and not know what's happening around them. They might lose touch with what's real and what's not.
  • 😐 No pleasure in experiences or activities that you once enjoyed: Feeling numb or empty inside
  • 😟 Lack of energy and motivation: Feeling completely exhausted, even when you've slept well
  • 🍴 Changes in eating habits Eating too much, or too little
  • 🧠 Difficulty concentrating: You might not being able to focus on anything for very long
  • 🤷‍♀️ Difficulties making decisions: Feeling overwhelmed by choice, letting someone else take the lead all the time
  • 🔥 Feeling that something bad is going to happen: Imagining worst case scenarios or constantly dreading something
  • 🦵 Non specific body aches or pains: You may ache all over without an obvious reason

And sometimes,

  • 😢 Feelings of guilt and hopelessness. 
  • 👩‍🦱  Feeling worthless or having thoughts of self harm 
  • 🤱 Feeling unable or unwilling to care for your baby
  • 👶 Negative thoughts about your baby  

f you are feeling like this most of the time, on most days, its important to talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor.

You can contact your health visitor on 01226 774411 or visit their page here

It's okay to ask for help, and there are people who want to support you. They can help you feel better and enjoy the special time of having a baby.

Find out more about bonding with Baby

Professionals sometimes talk about 'parent-infant relationships'. This means bonding with your baby.

Providing love, care, and positive interactions with your baby can set them up for a happy and successful life ahead.

Staying healthy during pregnancy

Maintaining good physical health before, during, and after pregnancy is very important for both mum and the baby. 

🔎 Find out more: 

To find out about, quitting smoking during pregnancy, maintaining a healthy weight and nutrition information, visit the

Keep Well Keep Moving page on the Virtual Family Hub here 

Registering the birth of your baby

You've got six weeks to register the birth of your baby after they arrive, you need to register your baby to get their birth certificate.

Click here to make an appointment at Barnsley Town Hall to register the birth