Pregnancy information

Mental health problems

Being pregnant is a big life event and it is natural to feel a lot of different emotions. But if you’re feeling sad and it’s starting to affect your life, there are things you can try that may help.

Things you can try to help with your mental health


  • talk about your feelings to a friend, family member, doctor or midwife
  • try calming breathing exercises if you feel overwhelmed
  • do physical activity if you can – it can improve your mood and help you sleep
  • eat a healthy diet with regular meals
  • try to attend antenatal classes to meet other pregnant people


  • do not compare yourself to other pregnant people – everyone experiences pregnancy in different ways
  • do not be afraid to tell healthcare professionals how you are feeling – they are there to listen and support you
  • do not use alcohol, cigarettes or drugs to try and feel better – these can make you feel worse and affect your baby’s growth and wellbeing

Speak to your midwife or a doctor if:

  • things you’re trying yourself are not helping

They will offer you more support. They may offer you a referral to perinatal mental health services or other emotional support. Perinatal means the time you are pregnant and up to 12 months after giving birth.

Medicine for mental health problems

You may be offered medicine to treat your symptoms.

If you decide to take medicine while you're pregnant or breastfeeding speak to your doctor. They will help you weigh up the risks and benefits, so you can decide on the best treatment for you and your baby.

They'll offer you the safest medicine at the lowest amount that will still work.

Mental health problems

There are many mental health problems you could experience in pregnancy. They can happen at any time, even if this is not your first pregnancy.

Below explains symptoms of mental health problems and what it might be.

You may also find it hard to cope with your body changing shape, particularly if you have had an eating disorder.

The website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has more information about postnatal mental health, including puerperal psychosis. Click on "postnatal mental health" in the list on the RCT's Problems and Disorders page.

You can also read guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on Mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth.





Last Updated: 12/07/2023 11:46:48
The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website