The period of planning, expecting, or caring for a new baby is often seen as one of happiness and excitement. In reality, many people can experience a range of mental health issues during this time, from anxiety and depression to PTSD and psychosis. On Parent Mental Health Day, our LMWS team have written the below blog to raise awareness of mental health challenges often experienced during the perinatal period – and the support available.

 New parents are often unaware of what is ‘normal’ and what isn’t. Some pregnant people may experience “baby blues” three to four days after giving birth, where they feel weepy, low, anxious, and irritable. But if symptoms like this continue or worsen, you should seek help as soon as possible.

Panic attacks, intrusive or suicidal thoughts, feeling guilty or worthless are things to look out for. Some pregnant people also experience debilitating conditions like OCD, postpartum psychosis, and tokophobia (extreme fear of giving birth). Partners may need support too; for example, they may experience PTSD if they witness a traumatic birth that puts their partner and baby at risk.

If you’re struggling, you’re not alone and there is help available. Mental health is just as important during and after pregnancy as physical health considerations, like checking for high blood pressure and avoiding certain high-risk foods. Finding the right support is important for you and for the wellbeing of your family too.

At LMWS, we understand the importance of supporting new parents and perinatal mental health is one of our priorities. If you’re struggling, we offer a range of evidence-based advice and psychological therapy for common mental health problems, including group based and 1:1 therapies, classes, one-off sessions, and online support options. For people experiencing more complex mental health problems, we work with Leeds Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service to refer patients or to inform our own treatment: Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust -Perinatal Mental Health Service (

If you need help, guidance or advice talk to your GP, midwife or health visitor who can refer you to LMWS. Or you can refer yourself via the website. The service is open to anyone who is aged 17+ who is registered with a Leeds GP: Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust – Refer Yourself.