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You are here: Home > Services > Maternity services > Your pregnancy and birth > Your mental health and emotional wellbeing

Your mental health and emotional wellbeing

Your health is important, both during pregnancy and afterwards. Health doesn’t just mean your physical health—your emotional wellbeing is really important too. Mental health problems are more common than physical health problems in pregnancy, affecting up to 20% of women. There are many tips and steps you can take to feel physically and emotionally at your best in pregnancy and after.

Diet

What you eat is important—it’s a good time to really think about your diet and make some changes that can have a big impact.

Sleep and rest

There may be times when you are full of energy and times when you feel exhausted. It’s important to make time to relax and wind down. You might find mindfulness or meditation useful.

Exercise

If you already take regular exercise then don’t stop! Talk to your midwife or doctor if you think you might be doing too much. If you don’t take regular exercise, think about doing something that appeals to you—swimming, yoga and walking are all excellent ways to keep fit and lift your mood if you are new to exercise.

Relationships

This is a time to think about who you have around you to share your pregnancy and thoughts about your baby. Think about who will be around to support you when your baby arrives—this may be your partner, your mum, your sister or a friend.

Relationships can change during pregnancy. If you are concerned about this, talk to your midwife or doctor. 

Antenatal education

There’s much to learn and keeping informed about the changes to your body and baby will help you feel more in control of what can be an exciting but challenging time.

Talk to someone

Pregnancy and the period after childbirth are significant times of change in a woman’s life. It is common for women and their partners to experience many different emotions during this time. Many women are worried about the impact a baby will have on their lives and how they will cope with all the changes ahead. These worries might include:

  • Becoming a mother—will I be good enough?
  • Will I stop work?
  • Will my relationship with my partner and family and friends change?
  • Do I have enough support to help me be the best mum I can be?
  • Will my pregnancy progress normally?
  • What if there are problems with the baby?
  • What will giving birth be like—can I do it?

All of these anxieties are common and normal. However about 1 in 10 women will experience some degree of anxiety or depression which can become a problem. Talking to other people and sharing your feelings can be reassuring. Please speak to a healthcare professional if you notice changes in your mood that are lasting much longer than is normal for you. There is plenty of support in the local area including talking therapies and support groups as well as online resources such as those below.

Please tell your midwife, GP or obstetrician if you have an existing mental health problem or have had a mental illness in the past. They can ensure you get the individualised care and support you need from a specialist perinatal mental health midwife and/or a perinatal mental health team.

Further information

Choose us

Self refer online


Get help (maternity helpline)

Chelsea and Westminster
T: 020 3315 6000

West Middlesex
T: 020 8321 5839 

 

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Mum & Baby app

Our Mum & Baby app supports your journey with us through your pregnancy, birth and life with your baby—download it today!

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The Care Information Exchange gives you online access to your results, scans and appointments during your pregnancy. Find out more.

 

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eRedbook is an NHS-approved app that allows you to keep a secure digital record of your child's health and development—download and register today!

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