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Pregnancy & New Parents

Having a baby is usually thought of as a happy and exciting time. However, becoming a new mum is not always as we expect and you may not feel like this straight away.

You may go through a brief period of feeling emotional and tearful – known as the ‘baby blues’. It usually starts 3-10 days after giving birth and affects around 85 per cent of new mothers. It is so common that it is considered normal. New fathers may also feel it. And, although having the baby blues may be distressing, it’s important to be aware that it doesn’t last long – usually only a few days – and is generally quite manageable.

8 out of 10 mums will have short-term symptoms of ‘baby blues’ after giving birth; this lasts for a few days.

60% of new mums experience symptoms of post natal depression

15% of new mums will be diagnosed with postnatal depression every year in the UK

However, around 10-15 per cent of new mothers develop a much deeper and longer-term depression known as postnatal depression (PND). It usually develops within six weeks of giving birth and can come on gradually or all of a sudden. It can range from being relatively mild to very severe.

Warning signs in new mothers
Feeling tired all the timeFeeling indifferent or disinterested towards your baby
Feeling frequently overwhelmed or unable to copeFeeling irritable or angry
Feelings of guilt that do not subsideLack of concentration
Difficulties with sleeping (even when you have opportunity to sleep)Withdrawing from socialising
Frequent crying for no obvious reasonHaving difficulty bonding with baby
Neglecting themselves – for example not washing or changing their clothesLosing all sense of time – being unaware if 10 mins or 2 hours have passed.
Losing all sense of humour and not being able to see the funny side of anythingWorrying that something is wrong with their baby, regardless of reassurance

(please be aware that some of these symptoms can be expected after you have just had a baby, such as lack of sleep, tiredness and moments of feeling overwhelmed but if you feel they are becoming worse or more frequent then please seek further support).

Possible Causes
Hormone levels – after giving birth your hormone levels change, which can impact on your moodA difficult or traumatic birth – can have an effect on your mood
Previous postnatal depressionPrevious mental health difficulties – make you more susceptible to developing post-natal depression
Unplanned pregnancy

We support Perinatal Mental Health difficulties including:

  • Pre/Post Low mood or Depression
  • Pre/Postnatal Anxiety
  • PTSD and birth trauma
  • Bereavement
  • Adjustment difficulties
  • Sleep problems
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Worries/fear of childbirth
  • Emetophobia

Referrals can be made by a health professional or self-referral, then an initial assessment is carried out, treatment is discussed and are placed on the most appropriate treatment pathway. Clients can be seen at their GP surgery, James Cook University Hospital, or one of our other venues within the community.

A Postnatal referral can be made which is for:

  • A person who cares for a baby 18 months or under
  • A person who has experienced a bereavement of a baby through miscarriage, a still born baby, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or recent termination in the last 18 months

A Prenatal referral can be made which is for:

  • A person who is currently pregnant at the time of referral

We also consider and, if appropriate assess and address the needs of fathers/partners, families and carers that might affect a woman with a mental health problem in pregnancy and the postnatal period. These include:

  • The welfare of the baby and other dependent children and adults
  • The role of the partner, family or carer in providing support
  • The potential effect of any mental health problem on the woman’s relationship with her partner, family or carer


If you are wanting to find out more information about medication then please seek the advice of your GP. There is also further information for you to read on the following website https://www.medicinesinpregnancy.org/

Self Help Resources

Take a look at some of the websites and apps that can support you.

Start your Journey


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