Mental health and support

Back to Pregnancy, Family and Mental Health: Resources and Support

Our Greater Manchester services have made a short film to describe some of the challenges when becoming a parent and how this can affect our mental health.

Perinatal refers to the time around conception, pregnancy, and the baby’s early years. This can be an exciting time, but it can also be a time of worry or concern around how relationships might change, the impact of a new arrival on the wider family, financial worries, worries about physical health and fear about the unknown. This can mean that our mental health is more vulnerable around the birth of a baby and mental health problems are more common at this time affecting as many as 1 in 4 of us.

Some people might experience a worsening of a previous mental health problem, but others might experience mental health problems for the first time. It is important to remember that all expectant and new parents can be more vulnerable in their mental health, not just the birthing parent.

Having a mental health condition is not your fault and mental health problems can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, or background. They can occur whether you are expecting your first child or whether you have had children before. Having a mental health condition when preparing for and adjusting to parenthood does not mean that you don’t love or won’t love your baby and it does not make you a bad parent. What it does mean is that you deserve support.

In this section, we discuss the mental health problems that can occur in the perinatal period and in the next section we describe what support is available at this important time for you and your family.

The most common mental health problems which can occur around this time are:

Less commonly, puerperal, or postpartum psychosis or a severe mental illness may occur. Read more