Pregnancy and Early Childhood within Psychological Therapies

Both Manchester Psychological Therapies Service and Self Help Services recognise that  Father and Child pregnancy and early parenthood can be both an exciting and overwhelming time. Becoming a parent is a major life change, with role changes and a mixture of emotions.

As many as 1 in 5 women can experience emotional difficulties and 1 in 3 new fathers/partners are concerned about their mental health during this time. This can happen to anyone. It is not your fault.

Asking for help doesn’t mean you can’t cope or can’t care for your child and it is very rare that children are taken away from their parents but it is the start of getting the right help to ensure you can be the parent you want to be.

It is common for pregnant women or early parents to experience:

  • Low mood, sadness and tearfulness
  • Anxiety, worry and tension
  • Irritability and anger
  • Difficult or unexpected feelings towards your pregnancy or baby
  • Poor sleep even when your baby sleeps well
  • Feeling unable to cope or enjoy anything
  • Thoughts that you are not a good enough parent
  • Worrying/ intrusive thoughts about your baby
  • Anxiety about labour or struggling to come to terms with a difficult labour or loss.

Our services aim to keep both parents and the infant in mind, making our services as accessible as possible with appointment flexibility, locations in family friendly venues and priority for assessment and treatment. Our service welcomes and prioritises individuals who are pregnant, or parents with children under 2, including mums, dads and same sex partners.

If you feel that you’re struggling, you can ask your GP to refer you to Self Help Services. They will talk to you, and arrange an assessment with you, to see how best we can help. Or refer yourself, this is easy to do, see below. They will talk to you, and arrange an assessment with you, to see how best we can help.

Common myths about pregnancy and parenting

Myth 1: Pregnant women are deliriously happy and never get depressed

Myth 2: It’s just the ‘baby blues’, I’m fine

Myth 3: If I’m diagnosed with a mental health issue, my baby will be taken away from me

Myth 4: If I tell anyone about my mental health worries, they will think I’m a failure, a bad parent or that I don’t love my baby

Myth 5: Mental health problems only affect certain people

Myth 6: I will be forced to take medication

Myth 7: I’m the only one who feels this way

Myth 8: Only mums suffer from mental health issues like postnatal depression

Myth 9: There’s nothing I can do to help a parent I know experiencing mental health issues

Myth 10: I’m never going to feel better

Pregnancy and Early Childhood Resources

You may find the resources on this page a helpful start to getting the support you need: https://www.gmmh.nhs.uk/pregnancy-resources