Pregnancy is often a very exciting and joyful time however, not every woman feels this way. Often women can have mixed, or even negative, feelings about being pregnant. Some find it more difficult to than others to cope with the changes and uncertainties which pregnancy brings. Physical, Social and financial stresses can affect how you feel in pregnancy e.g. morning sickness, the support you have at home and stressful events in your life.
Naturally there can be some worry when you are pregnant; it is common to worry about:
- The changes in your role (becoming a mother, stopping work).
- The changes in your relationships.
- Whether you will be a good parent.
- Fear that there will be problems with the pregnancy or the baby.
- Physical health problems and pregnancy complications.
- Fear of childbirth.
- Lack of support and being alone.
As many as 1 in 5 women have mental health problems in pregnancy or after birth.1-3 It can happen to anyone and just like physical problems, the severity can vary. For some women, a mental health issues can develop for the first time during pregnancy.
Many women have already have had a mental illness before pregnancy, and this can raise the risk of becoming unwell, particularly after birth. Whether it is your first episode of a mental health problem or an enduring condition, we have a specialist team and partnership with mental health services to hopefully prevent this happening.
Self-assessment Tool- Perinatal Pathways
What we do…
Medication in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Dad/Partner's Mental Health
How to support your partner
I'm in crisis now and need urgent help
Top tips for keeping well
Tokophobia/fear of childbirth
Information for professionals
Links for further support
Specialist Mental Health Prescribing Midwife
I am a midwife with a specialist interest in supporting women with their mental health. Every woman goes on a journey to become a mother and mental health plays a role for everyone. I provide a link between mental health services and pregnancy. I am available to give advice on and prescribe mental health medications in pregnancy, breastfeeding whilst on medication and bonding with baby. I work closely with our lead consultant obstetrician Mark Waterstone to get the best outcome for you and your family.
I am a consultant obstetrician with special interest in perinatal mental health. I have been involved in this field since 2002 and have helped develop and expand the provision of mental health services to pregnant women ever since.
Liaison Psychiatry Practitioner
I provide mental health support for those who are an inpatient of Darent Valley. I assess the need and risk and signpost on to the relevant services. In my team at Liaison Psychiatry I am the perinatal mental health link nurse. I have been a Mental Health Nurse for 10 years now. I love my job and don’t know what else I would do!
Maternity Safeguarding Liaison Midwife
I am the maternity safeguarding liaison midwife, specialising in substance misuse. I work supporting the Lead Midwife for safeguarding and the Perinatal Mental Health Midwife.