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Mental health support for expectant parents

Getting ready to have a baby can be both exciting and scary. The flood of new emotions and experiences can feel overwhelming. Many people aren’t used to these highs and lows so can often feel anxious during this time. With the coronavirus outbreak happening, people may be even more worried than usual.

It’s important that you pay attention to your mental health when pregnant, so we’ve put together some tips to help you cope. We have more information and advice on being pregnant during the pandemic, and there is also help on the NHS Inform website.

Understanding your mental health

Looking after your mental wellbeing isn’t just important for you, it is important for your baby too. They might just be a tiny wee thing, but they can pick up on your stress during pregnancy.

It's normal to have some questions or concerns during your pregnancy, particularly at this time. You might also have extra worries during the coronavirus outbreak, like the health of loved ones, your job, or getting sick yourself.

Depression and anxiety is not unusual for soon-to-be mums. It‘s understandable that this might be made worse by the current crisis. So if you are feeling this way, remember that you’re not alone and that there is a lot of support available for you. If you’re worried about how you’re feeling, reach out to your partner or to friends and family for support. Don’t forget, you can always talk to your midwife or GP who will be able to provide expert advice. It is also important to remember that this period will not last forever and that by following the latest advice and guidance on pregnancy you are protecting yourself and your baby.

Tips for your mental health

Advice for dads and partners

This can be a scary time for you too. It is understandable that you might be worried about your partner. Keep up to date with the most recent developments by checking reliable sources like the Scottish Government or NHS Inform websites. But try not to get overwhelmed by the news at the moment.

Due to coronavirus there may be changes to maternity care that may be frustrating. It's important to remember at this time that any changes are designed to keep mum and baby safe. Reach out for support from other family members if you are finding this period hard; talking things over can make a big difference.

You may also feel worried about how you will deal with becoming a parent. Here are some tips to help. You can find more in this leaflet from Fathers' Network Scotland.

Tips for dads-to-be

Look for support

Remember that you’re not alone – all of us struggle from time to time. Talk to your midwife or GP if you’re finding it all a bit much.

You may be able to form an extended household with one other household, which could be a great source of support for you. You can find out more information on extended households here

There are lot of other ways to find support for your mental health. A directory of third sector services supporting mental health for women, babies and their families can be found here.

It's important to remember you can still access support during this time.

There’s help and advice on the NHS Inform website and here at Parent Club. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website also has advice on keeping safe during pregnancy.