Perinatal Mental Health
Perinatal mental illness is a significant complication of pregnancy and the postnatal period. Perinatal mental illness covers disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), and postpartum psychosis (which usually manifests itself as bipolar disorder). The most common perinatal mental health problem is postnatal depression. In recent years, perinatal mental health has been recognised as a major public health concern. A significant number of women will first become depressed in pregnancy. Perinatal mental health is closely connected to infant mental health, so looking after mum means looking after the baby/ies too.
Click here to view Best Beginnings perinatal mental health video
Mental Health During Pregnancy
Many women expecting multiples experience some sort of anxiety or depression during their pregnancy, wondering about their future, parenting skills, financial considerations or partly due to the potential increased risks that can occur in a multiple pregnancy. This doesn’t mean this will happen to you, but if you do feel depressed and this feeling is not being helped by talking it over with your partner or someone you feel close too, talk with your midwife as they will be able to refer you to someone who will be able to help. Remember you shouldn’t have to cope alone.
If you have a previous history of mental health problems you may be more likely to experience PND which is why it is important to talk to your midwife or health visitor. They may recommend a referral if necessary to a perinatal mental health professional. The dietician, mental health professional, physiotherapist and infant feeding specialist are part of what NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) call an enhanced team, the team are there if you require their expertise. “
Suzette Jones is a Health & Wellbeing Adviser for the Diocese of Guildford. In these videos Suzette answers some frequently asked questions regarding perinatal mental health for multiple birth mothers and fathers.
If you are finding things difficult and would like to speak to one of our Twinline volunteer listeners they can provide you with a listening ear. Call our freephone helpline Twinline (which is open every day from 10am-1pm and from 7pm-10pm) on 0800 138 0509 or you can also email Asktwinline@tamba.org.uk
Two brave mothers shared their experiences of PND with us.They are an inspiration to all and we do hope that their stories will encourage other multiple birth mothers and fathers who are struggling, to seek out and get help.
Click here to listen
For information on how you can help thoese with PND, please download the factsheet below.
Download our factsheet for top tips on dealing with depression during pregnancy and after birth
This factsheet contains information for health professionals about perinatal mental health for multiple birth families
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