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If you are pregnant and would like to know more about looking after your mental health, this page has advice and information.
Being pregnant is a big life event and it is natural to feel a lot of different emotions. But if you’re feeling sad and it’s starting to affect your life, there are things you can try that may help.
Support is available. If you need someone to talk to now contact your maternity unit or find out where to get urgent help for mental health.
talk about your feelings to a friend, family member, doctor or midwife
try calming breathing exercises if you feel overwhelmed
do physical activity if you can – it can improve your mood and help you sleep
eat a healthy diet with regular meals
try to attend antenatal classes to meet other pregnant people
do not compare yourself to other pregnant people, everyone experiences pregnancy in different ways
do not be afraid to tell healthcare professionals how you are feeling, they are there to listen and support you
do not use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to try and feel better, these can make you feel worse and affect your baby’s growth and wellbeing
They can offer you support. They may offer you a referral to perinatal mental health services or other emotional support. Perinatal means the time you are pregnant and up to 12 months after giving birth.
If you're feeling sad and it's not improving, a talking therapy might help.
There are different types of talking therapies for mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Talking therapies include cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and counselling.
A GP can refer you for talking treatment, or you can refer yourself directly to an NHS talking therapies service without going to a GP. If you refer yourself, it's a good idea to talk to a midwife or GP as well about how you're feeling.
Find an NHS talking therapies service
You may be offered medicine to treat your symptoms.
If you decide to take medicine while you're pregnant or breastfeeding speak to your doctor. They will help you weigh up the risks and benefits, so you can decide on the best treatment for you and your baby.
They'll offer you the safest medicine at the lowest amount that will still work.
There are many mental health problems you could experience in pregnancy. They can happen at any time, even if this is not your first pregnancy.
You may also find it hard to cope with your body changing shape, particularly if you have had an eating disorder.
You can find care for your mental health before, during and after pregnancy.
Some charities and organisations offer support for mental health during pregnancy.
It's important to continue taking any medication prescribed unless your GP/specialist specifically tells you to stop. Please visit our Existing Health Conditions page for more information, or visit 'Bumps' ('Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy').
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