Getting pregnant and having a baby will be very exciting for most people; however it can come with new challenges and demands. Even if you have not experienced mental health problems in the past, the physical and emotional changes pregnancy and childbirth brings can sometimes trigger a mental illness. The most common mental health problems in pregnancy and after the birth of a baby are depression and anxiety
Mental illness can affect anybody regardless of previous history. Some women will experience a mental health problem for the first time during their pregnancy or after the birth of their baby. Other women will have had on going mental health problems and then become pregnant whilst others will have had past mental health problems. Most healthcare professionals who come into contact with you during your pregnancy and after the birth of your baby will ask how you feel emotionally. This is because they understand that it can be difficult to talk about how you are feeling so professionals aim to give you opportunities to discuss this regularly.
If you already suffer or have suffered with mental health issues, it is important that you start your pregnancy well. All women can ask their GP for information and advice when they are planning a pregnancy. If you are under the care of a mental health service you should talk to a psychiatrist
It may be hard to know when it's the best time for you to have a baby. You can talk to your GP or psychiatrist even if you are just thinking about having a baby in the future. They may be able to give you the information you need to make decisions about your care. If not, they may be able to refer you to a perinatal psychiatrist.