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What is PND?

You will most probably have heard of postnatal depression (PND) but there are also other conditions associated with maternal mental health. Perinatal mental health (PMH) concerns a woman’s emotional and psychological wellbeing during pregnancy and up to around three years after giving birth. PMH conditions include pre and postnatal depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and birth trauma.

It’s important to seek help as soon as you can, if you think you or someone you know might be affected by any of these conditions.

Prenatal depression

Depression during pregnancy is known as prenatal or antenatal depression. Symptoms include feeling low, anxiety, not experiencing joy, and loss of self-confidence. It can be caused by nausea or because of a miscarriage or stillbirth in a previous pregnancy.

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Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression affects many women after they have a baby. It can start any time within a year of giving birth, and can also affect dads and partners. But with the right support, guidance and signposting, recovery is possible.

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Perinatal mental health

Perinatal mental health covers all mental health problems associated with pregnancy, birth and beyond. These include pre and postnatal depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and postpartum psychosis.

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Anxiety can occur any time during pregnancy, through birth and after, and it feels different for everyone. Someone with anxiety may feel tense or nervous, avoid certain situations, experience panic attacks and suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

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Birth trauma

Birth trauma might be due to one single event, or a mixture of experiences in pregnancy, during birth or afterwards. It can also be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, known as PTSD, and symptoms can include flashbacks.

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At PANDAS, we want to do all we can to make a difference to the lives of people experiencing maternal mental health problems. Here are some useful links to other support services that offer help and advice on perinatal mental health.

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If you need urgent help….

If you need urgent help or are worried about a loved one, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or the emergency services on 999.