Perinatal Mental Health

Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of your baby. Perinatal mental health is an umbrella term that covers a range of conditions such as antenatal/postnatal Depression or Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Postpartum Psychosis.

Depression and anxiety are the most common disorders, and approximately 10-20% of women and up to 10% of fathers or partners, will experience a perinatal mental health problem.  It’s important to remember that these conditions are very treatable and it’s important to seek help early.

Without appropriate treatment, the negative impact of mental health problems during the perinatal period is enormous and can have long-lasting consequences on not only women, but their partners and children as well.  Read more at: Parent-Infant Foundation.

As evidence continues to emerge about the negative impact of fathers and partners exclusion from maternity services since the start of the pandemic, we as a Trust want to offer our support and encouragement to expectant parents, to help guide them on their journey into parenthood.

For further information, please visit the resources below;

Please speak to your Midwife, Health Visitor or GP for advice or referral to specialist services.

If you are experiencing a mental health crisis please attend one of our Emergency Departments or call 999 for emergency care.

Watch this Video Clip from Perinatal Positivity: Perinatal Positivity Video Clip

Slow deep breathing techniques

Slow deep breathing techniques are an excellent way to release your stress and anxieties
slow breathing techniques

Breathe in slowly like you are smelling a flower and then slowly release your breath through pursed lips like you are gently moving a candle flame without blowing it out.

Mindful Breathing clips

Every Mind Matters

Soothing Rhythm Breathing

Watch the video of Northern Trust Clinical Psychologist  Dr Casey Mc Givern on Pregnancy Anxiety during Covid-19

Useful Links

Tommy’s Wellbeing Plan
Maternal Mental Health Alliance
RCGP Perinatal Mental Health Toolkit
Change Your Mind NI – Links to Covid Wellbeing Hub
Regional Northern Ireland Maternity website
Recovery and Mental Illness
Family Support NI
We Are PANGS – Peer support
Aware NI
Lifeline (NI)

COVID Wellbeing NI

The Parent Rooms





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