Maternal and paternal mental health - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Maternal and paternal mental health

You may feel worried or stressed, or even feeling a little down throughout and after your pregnancy and you can get support. For some parents these feelings don't stop or get worse and it is important that you get help if this happens.
Midwife visiting pregnant couple

If you’ve suffered with a mental health issue before your pregnancy, have developed one throughout pregnancy or after the birth of your baby it’s important to get the right help and support.

If you have a history of mental health issues such as bipolar disorder, previous post-partum psychosis, schizophrenia or severe depression please make sure that your midwife, GP or health visitor is aware before you have your baby so they can get you the specialist support you may need.

Struggling with mental health may be more common in pregnancy and in the first year after your baby is born, than you might think, affecting dads as well as mums. Between 10 and 20 per cent of women develop a problem such as antenatal or postnatal depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or post-partum psychosis.

These conditions can develop suddenly and can include a range of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. It’s important to know that you are not alone and there are plenty of people that are able to support you.  Speak to your midwife, health visitor or GP for advice.


blue-bird green-bird orange-bird pink-bird
Age group:

Parent infant relationship

Your relationship with your baby starts much earlier than the first time you meet them.
Read more →
Age group:

Baby blues

During the first week after having a baby, many women get what’s often called the ‘baby blues’. Women can experience low mood at a time when they expect to feel happy.
Read more →

Further information

MyWellbeing College

MyWellbeing College is a free NHS service run by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust. It helps you to manage everyday problems such as feeling low, having problems sleeping, feeling anxious and experiencing stress, using tools like online courses, workbooks and telephone consultations.

Specialist Mother and Baby Mental Health Service

If you are experiencing severe mental health problems or have experienced these in the past, the Specialist Mother and Baby Mental Health service offers specialist short-term treatment to support your recovery during pregnancy and after birth.

Mind - postnatal depression

Having a baby is a big life event, and it’s natural to experience a range of emotions and reactions during and after your pregnancy. This website talks about when these feelings get more serious, possible causes and treatment and support available.

Although it’s normal to have periods of worry and stress when you’re pregnant, some women have feelings that don’t go away and this can be a sign of something more serious. This website can help you to build a pregnancy and post-birth wellbeing plan.

Birth Trauma Association

Birth trauma can occur if instead of a happy, joyful experience you find your birth a scary one. Birth trauma can make it difficult to bond with your baby. It’s also possible for your partner to experience birth trauma. This website gives you more information and how to get support.

Postnatal depression information for carers

If you’re a partner supporting a mum with postnatal depression, it’s important you look after your mental wellbeing as well. Helpful information for partners is available on this website.

Postnatal depression in Dads

Having a baby is a time of big change for all the family. 1 in 10 dads experience postnatal depression or anxiety. The treatment for postnatal depression or anxiety in dads is the same as for mums.

Perinatal OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can develop or get worse during pregnancy or after the birth of your baby. This website provides help and support if you are experiencing OCD symptoms.

Perinatal OCD for carers

If your partner has developed OCD during pregnancy or after the birth of your baby it’s important you can understand what they are going through and also take care of your own mental wellbeing. This website gives lots of helpful advice.

Post-partum psychosis for carers

Looking after someone with post-partum psychosis can be demanding. It’s important to take care of yourself as well. This website provides lots of helpful advice for carers.

Every Mind Matters

Having good mental health helps us relax more, achieve more and enjoy our lives more. There are simple things we can all do to look after our mental health and wellbeing – this website offers a free plan, expert advice and practical tips.

Better Start Bradford

Better Start Bradford work with families to give children the best possible start in life in Bowling and Bakerend, Bradford Moor and Little Horton through a range of innovative projects to support them through pregnancy and the earliest years of their children’s lives.