Around 1 in 5 women will experience a mental health problem either during pregnancy or after giving birth. It can be really difficult to open up about a mental health problem at this point in life - a new mother might feel pressure to be happy, or worry that others may not think she's able to look after her child. Read these stories to hear personal perspectives about perinatal mental illness and the misconceptions that people have about it. 

Postnatal depression: I set up a national charity

Rachel, a Time to Change bloggerFrom the moment I saw the positive pregnancy test right up to the day I gave birth, I just didn’t feel the overwhelming joy I’d imagined. It should have been perfect timing, we found out we were expecting just two days after our first wedding anniversary. But, although my husband was overjoyed and very supportive, I felt consumed by panic, shock and fear.

Depression: my husband and kids support me

A woman holding up a sign reading: "self harmed", "suicide attempt", "depression" | Time to ChangeSince I was about 11 I have felt sad. I thought it was because I didn't have many friends or because my mum was quite ill. Things got worse when I became a teenager and we moved countries. I found it difficult to fit in, to find myself and to deal with my hormones.

Postpartum psychosis: mental illness after childbirth should not be taboo

Naomi, a Time to Change bloggerThink of any advert you have seen recently portraying a new mum and her baby. I'm guessing the room in the background will be white with gleaming surfaces, a distinct lack of sicky muslins or half-drunk cups of tea, and most definitely mum will be back in her pre-pregnancy jeans. Mum and baby will smile and cuddle and laugh.

Pages