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Pregnancy

Commonly known as: pregnancy, pregnant, having a baby, maternal health, perinatal, prenatal, pre-natal, antenatal, ante-natal

Pregnancy

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Pregnancy and mental health

At Melo, we are aware that being pregnant is a huge life event.  As well as all the physical changes, it is natural to feel a lot of emotions.  Your pregnancy may be planned, a surprise, a much waited for event and you may feel happy and excited. Or your pregnancy may be unplanned and you may feel uncertain, shocked, confused and upset, or you may not experience any of these feelings.

It can also feel difficult to cope when everyone expects you to feel happy and excited about the new baby if this is not how you feel. Or it may be that your partner or others close to you have different thoughts and feelings to you about your pregnancy.

Some people feel anxious about things like the birth, or whether the baby will be healthy.  You may feel worried if you have previously had a miscarriage or fertility issues. You may feel anxious if you have had a pregnancy that didn’t go as planned, a traumatic birth or have experienced abuse.  Some people may also find it hard to cope with their body changing shape.

All of these feelings are completely normal, everyone is different.  The reality of being pregnant can take some time to get used to, regardless of your route to get there.

For partners, finding out your partner is pregnant can be an emotional time for you too. If you are struggling, it might be a good idea to confide in friends who are already parents and who know what you are going through.

For some pregnancy can feel like another pressure on top of everyday things, like money worries, your job, family or relationship problems. There’s no ‘normal’ way to feel while you’re pregnant and everyone is different.

Domestic abuse can happen to anyone, but women who are pregnant and women who have young children are at more risk.  If you think you are experiencing domestic abuse, please look on our topic page abuse for more information on support available or to find out how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse here: NHS Domestic Violence.

If you are struggling, getting help and support early on is really important.  We hope the following information will be a helpful and useful resource.

 

Self-help advice for pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is important to look after your own wellbeing. This will help you cope better with the day-to-day things that life throws at you, or when things are difficult.

There are steps we can all take to protect and look after our mental wellbeing:

  • During pregnancy, it is important to look after your own wellbeing. This will help you cope better with the day-to-day things that life throws at you, or when things are difficult.
  • There are steps we can all take to protect and look after our mental wellbeing. You may be able to incorporate some of the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ into your day.
  • Visit the Healthier Together website which contains a range of information and advice if you are pregnant or have a new baby including looking after yourself, staying healthy, preparing for labour and birth and looking after your baby.
  • Speaking to your Midwife, Health Visitor or a trusted friend or relative about your feelings can also be helpful.
  • You might like to attend antenatal classes to meet other parents. Find out from your Midwife or Health Visitor

You could try calming breathing exercises if you feel overwhelmed, see our mindfulness section for more information.

 

If you need further help

If the information, advice, resources and courses on this page have not been helpful and / or you feel you need more help, there are many free services available.

Speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP.  Visit the ABUHB website to find out how to contact your midwife: Pregnancy – Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Or alternatively contact another approved helpline listed below. Some services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Last updated: 25.09.2023
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Self-help resources for pregnant people

Type Title Related to… Provider
Reading Reading

Postnatal Depression- NHS Self-help Guide

Depression, Low Mood, Pregnancy mind
Reading Reading

The Compassionate Mind Approach To Postnatal Depression: Using Compassion Focused Therapy to Enhance Mood, Confidence and Bonding

Depression, Parents, Pregnancy mind
Websites Websites

Advice for Pregnant People/New Parents/Carers – Healthier Together

Parents, Pregnancy, Unpaid Carers mind
Websites Websites

Having a baby if you’re LGBT+ – Find out about starting a family if you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or non-binary | NHS

Gender and Sexuality (LGBTQIA+), Pregnancy mind
Showing 4 out of 12 results View all

Helplines and support

See below for helplines relevant to pregnancy. To see our full list of helplines, visit our helplines page.

Aneurin Bevan University Health Board

Psychological Health Practitioners (PHP)

If you feel you need ongoing support to improve your mental health, then you may need professional support from the NHS. This is a free service and you will be able to access this help from within your GP surgery. Ask if there is a Psychological Health Practitioner based in your surgery. If not, then your GP can provide support.

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