Pregnancy and the first year after giving birth are times of great adjustment and emotional upheaval in a woman’s life.
Most women go through pregnancy and the first year after giving birth without problems but it is important to remember that changing emotions, social, financial and physical demands can be difficult to manage and you may feel more anxious and ‘down’ than usual.
Although this is the same for most people, mental health problems can develop differently when you are pregnant or have recently given birth and you might need more urgent care and treatment because of the effects on your own health, the health of your baby and any other children in the family.
When you first see a midwife, health visitor or GP about care during pregnancy they will ask you if you have, or have ever had a severe mental illness (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression or psychosis after giving birth).
They will also ask you if you have ever received treatment from a psychiatrist or specialist mental health team – this includes treatment in hospital, and if anyone in your family has had mental health problems during pregnancy or after giving birth.