I've Been There

Common mental health problems


Baby blues

A lot of mums will feel teary and overwhelmed in the first 3-10 days after having a baby. This is called the baby blues and is a normal part of having a baby.


The baby blues should go away after a few days. If they don’t, you may have a mental health problem.


Pregnancy and parenting can be stressful and things like depression, anxiety, psychosis or other mental health problems can happen during this time. 


This isn’t something you should get scared about. Talking to your doctor and putting a few things in place will make you more confident that you can handle everything coming your way!



It’s normal to feel sad or down sometimes, especially if you’re going through a really stressful time. But if it lasts for more than a couple of weeks, it may be depression. 

You might want to read more about the symtoms of depression. You might have heard of something called ‘postnatal depression’ - but this can also affect women before the baby is born.


Anxiety disorders

Worrying is a normal part of everyday life but when it happens lots and stops you getting things done it becomes a problem. If you’re feeling really scared or panicked much of the time then you might want to read more about anxiety disorders in pregnancy or after baby is born.

Someone with anxiety might:

  • Worry heaps about stuff
  • Find it hard to relax, concentrate or sleep
  • Avoid certain places, situations or things
  • Have a racing heart, sweating, headaches or nausea
  • Have panic attacks or feel sick

You might experience all of these feelings, or only some of them.


Bipolar disorder

Bipolar disorder used to be called ‘manic depression’. It involves people going through really-super-extreme ‘highs’ and ‘lows’ in their moods. Don’t mistake the mood swings of pregnancy for bipolar though! See a doctor to check out what is going on.


Puerperal (postpartum) psychosis

This is really rare (1 or 2 in 1,000 women experience this in the weeks after having a baby). Puerperal psychosis is very serious as the mum may be at risk of self-harm and there is risk of potential harm to the baby. If you’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder before then you are at greater risk of the illness.





Facts about mental health problems

  • Mental health problems cause people to think, act and feel differently from how they usually do
  • Mental health problems are common, with at least 1 in 5 people experiencing one every year
  • Sometimes people have a bad experience with a doctor, but it’s okay to talk to another doctor next time,just like you would for any health problem.