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What is Perinatal Anxiety in new mums?

Research suggests approximately 1 in 5 women may experience symptoms of worry and anxiety during the perinatal period (perinatal just means ‘around childbirth’, so during pregnancy and through the 12 months after birth). While a bit of anxiety and worry is a totally normal reaction to significant life changes (like having a baby), some people have symptoms that are difficult to control, that they find distressing or intense, or that significantly interfere with their day-to-day lives. If this is your experience, it is important to seek help.

While we have developed this website to support women experiencing perinatal anxiety – this site is not a substitute for face-to-face, personalised help.

Unfortunately, more than 50% of women experiencing significant perinatal anxiety will go unrecognised and will not seek help. This may be because they don’t recognise or understand their symptoms. Or it may be because they are worried what people will think about them. Some people may feel reluctant to talk to a healthcare professional about how they are feeling; or they may simply not have the time or flexibility to go to healthcare appointments. We also know that access to mental health support can sometimes be limited. As such, we have developed this website to try to tackle these issues, and breakdown some of the barriers that may be standing in the way of getting support.

The information and tools available on this website will hopefully allow you to better recognise and understand your symptoms, gain more control over them, and give you the confidence to seek further help (if you need it). It also provides some self-help tools, which research suggests may be helpful in helping you to manage your symptoms.

Remember – having perinatal anxiety does not mean that you are ‘losing it’ or that you are a ‘bad’ mother… the transition to parenthood is a time of significant change, which can often be overwhelming and stressful. So it’s not surprising that many mothers feel like they are on an emotional roller-coaster during this time. It’s important to look after yourself, and remember – you are not alone.

Use the ‘Useful Links’ below to find out more about perinatal anxiety and its symptoms.

Look after yourself and seek help, if you need it.