Many changes occur during pregnancy and after childbirth, physically, emotionally and to our day to day lives. When having a baby, it can be difficult to know what is normal and what is not. Most women experience ‘baby blues’ three to four days after giving birth, and may feel weepy, low, anxious and irritable. These are thought to be linked to hormonal changes taking place in your body after giving birth and your milk ‘coming in’. These symptoms are normal and only tend to last a few days, but if they continue and you or your partner are experiencing the symptoms listed below, you should seek help as soon as possible.
- Low mood, tearfulness.
- Anxiety or panic attacks.
- Worries about health and your baby.
- Feeling worthless, low self-esteem.
- Feeling guilty.
- Lack of energy.
- Poor sleep.
- Changes in appetite.
- Loss of interest in activities.
- Feeling irritable and agitated.
- Poor concentration.
- Thoughts about suicide or harming yourself.
- Distressing, unwanted thoughts that pop into the mind.
Pregnancy and the period after childbirth can bring about a range of emotional changes. Many find this to be a positive experience. However, some women and men undergo an emotional upheaval that can result in problems with their mental health and wellbeing. Having a new child is a life changing event.
Around one in five women experience changes to their emotional wellbeing during pregnancy or in the year after giving birth. Many women do not seek help, are scared of being judged and worry what might happen if they admit how they are feeling.
Around one in ten men can experience changes to their emotional wellbeing when their partner is pregnant or within the first year after baby is born. These symptoms often go undiagnosed as they often present as normal stresses of having a new born baby.
If you are struggling with these changes Improving Access to Psychological Therapies can help.