Perinatal mental health refers to a woman’s mental health during pregnancy and the first year after birth. This includes mental illness existing before pregnancy, as well as illnesses that develop for the first time, or are greatly exacerbated in the perinatal period.
Examples of perinatal mental illness include antenatal depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, perinatal obsessive compulsive disorder, postpartum psychosis and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses can be mild, moderate or severe, requiring different kinds of care or treatment.
- More than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby.
- Seven in ten women will hide or underplay the severity of their perinatal mental illness
More often, however, mothers ( or parents) experience difficulties with their new born babies and they find themselves feeling anxious or worried about the baby and the baby’s response to them. Some parents worry about the bonding of the baby to them or perhaps that the baby is presenting with sleeping difficulties or feeding difficulties that causes them distress and they would like to discuss this with a professional. We have a team of Parent Infant Psychotherapists who would be able to help you talk matters through.
We build on the strengths of parents while recognising the challenges they face in developing a positive relationship with your baby.
How we can help you
If you are expecting a baby or have a baby less than a year old and are finding it difficult to develop a positive relationship with your baby, then may be able to help.
We provide a safe space for you to think about the relationship you have with your baby. We may encourage you to play with and talk to your baby. Sometimes it’s helpful to try to think about how your baby is feeling and what your baby might be trying to tell you through his/ her sounds and body movements. Filming the positive parts of these sessions for you to watch later can be helpful.