Mental health

Mental health during and after pregnancy

Most women go through pregnancy and the first year after giving birth without any mental health problems, but some women do have problems. These are the same as for other people, but they can develop differently at this time.

  • Women who already have a mental health problem are more likely to become ill again during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth than at other times in their life.
  • Severe mental illnesses may develop much more quickly and be more serious after giving birth than at other times.
  • Sometimes women who have a mental health problem stop taking their medication without talking to their doctor or midwife when they find out that they are pregnant. This can make their illness return or become worse.

If you have a mental health problem during pregnancy or in the first year after giving birth, you may need more urgent care and treatment than usual, because of the possible effects on your baby, your own health and your other children.

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