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Explains postnatal depression and other perinatal mental health issues, including possible causes, sources of treatment and support, and advice for friends and family.
Perinatal anxiety is anxiety experienced during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. You might hear it called:
While many people are aware that you can become depressed after having a baby, it's less well known that many women experience anxiety during and after pregnancy. In fact, it's common to experience depression and anxiety together.
Some women experience a particular anxiety about childbirth. This is called tokophobia, a fear of childbirth. Tommy's has more information about tokophobia and what support is available.
This page covers:
There are a range of treatment options for anxiety, any of which you might find useful to treat perinatal anxiety.
You may be offered a combination of medication and a talking treatment. Many people find that taking medication helps them feel stable enough to get the most out of a talking treatment. However, other people find medication or talking treatments alone are more helpful.
If there are long waiting lists for talking treatments in your area, your doctor may recommend that you try an antidepressant to help you manage your mental health in the meantime.
Our page on treatments for anxiety has more information about these treatments.
"I was dealing with panic attacks, and distressing thoughts about my baby being better off without me."
Experiencing anxiety can feel very overwhelming and leave you struggling to cope with daily tasks and interactions. Here are some ideas on how to look after yourself and help yourself cope:
See our page on self-care for anxiety for more ideas.
This information was published in July 2016. We will revise it in 2019.
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