Perinatal mental health

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For many women and their families, having a baby is the most significant life-changing event they will ever experience.

Adjusting to this major life change, as well as coping with the day-to-day demands of a new baby, can make some people more likely to experience depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions at this time, particularly if they've experienced a mental health condition in the past.

How common is depression and anxiety?

Depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy and in the first year after a baby is born. Depression affects up to one in 10 women during pregnancy, and almost one in seven women in the first year after the birth. Anxiety is thought to be even more common and many women experience both anxiety and depression at the same time.

How do you know if you have depression or anxiety?

There are a number of symptoms of antenatal and postnatal depression and anxiety. You can check this out by completing the checklist and taking it along to your health professional.

How is anxiety and depression treated?

There is a range of safe and effective treatments for depression and anxiety during pregnancy and following birth – even if you are breastfeeding.

The most important thing is to get help early and talk to a professional who will help you find the treatment that is right for you. Remember, the sooner you seek support, the earlier you can recover.

How to help yourself if you have antenatal or postnatal depression or anxiety

There are many things you can do to take care of your emotional health during pregnancy, as you prepare for parenthood and as you adjust to early parenthood. It's also good to have some helpful strategies in place for when you feel like things are getting too much. 

Just speak up

By talking openly you may give others the confidence they need to talk about it too.

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