Postnatal and Perinatal Mental Health

Around one in five women will experience a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth.

Having a baby is a big life event, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after your pregnancy.

However, if they start to have a big impact on how you live your life, you might be experiencing a mental health problem.

This might be a new mental health problem or another episode of a mental health problem you’ve experienced before. These are known as perinatal mental health problems.

You can experience any kind of mental health problems during and after pregnancy, but there are some that are particularly common or are specifically linked to pregnancy and childbirth:

  • perinatal depression
  • perinatal anxiety
  • perinatal OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder)
  • postpartum psychosis
  • postpartum PTSD (post-traumaticstress disorder)

Download our information publication

We've put together helpful information about causes, sources of treatment and advice for you, and for your friends and family. For more information on mental health problems and other support, check out the SAMH Information Service.

Understanding postnatal depression and perinatal mental health

This publication explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues, including possible causes, sources of treatment and support, and advice for friends and family.

5 ways to improve your mental health

Evidence suggests there are five ways to improve our mental wellbeing: be active, connect, learn, give and take notice.

5 ways to better well-being