The changes experienced during pregnancy, motherhood and fatherhood can be difficult - some people struggle with emotional issues as well as physical symptoms. These can vary from very mild to very serious.

We are keen that parents-to-be and new parents know that it is normal and OK to feel like this. You are not alone, and support is available if you are worried about yourself, your partner or a loved one.

2 in 10 women will suffer perinatal mental health issues that can occur during pregnancy and in the year after birth (in Latin ‘peri’ means ‘around’ and natal means ‘birth’) - see the infographic at the bottom of this page.

When should you seek help if you're not feeling right?

It's not always easy to know what emotions and feelings are 'normal' and when you might need some help. Women's mental health specialist Trudi Seneviratne talks about when to ask for help if you're not feeling right:

Support

Many mums and partners we have spoken to have said "If only I had spoken to someone earlier."

You are the best judge of your own health and of your baby's health.  If you think there is something out of the ordinary then it is important to talk to someone and not bottle it up:

  • talk to your partner / family / friend - sometimes it makes you feel better just to share your concerns
  • talk to your doctor, midwife or health visitor
  • contact the organisations that are part of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance
  • in an emergency dial 999

What is Out of the Blue?

Out of the Blue is a set of films that aim to raise awareness and reduce stigma about perinatal mental health issues.

The films will support mums and dads, families and the professionals working with them to help reduce mental health problems in pregnancy and the period following the birth.

Out of the Blue films have been made by filming mums who are in recovery, and filming dads and family members about their experiences. The films include young families – age 16+ – and older families, single parents and couples, which means they provide support for parents of all ages and situations.

The films help you look after your mental health, and your loved ones' mental health, and to recognise the signs and symptoms that mean you or they might need support.  We have developed the films with parents, healthcare professionals, and thMaternal Mental Health Alliance's 'Everyone's Business' campaign.

Follow the campaign on Twitter @BestBMMH

The videos will cover four key areas, giving vital information into the parent experience:

The antenatal period (during pregnancy)

- bonding with your baby during pregnancy (which can reduce risk of mental health issues)
- warning signs for mental health issues
- how to look after yourself in pregnancy
- the importance of escalating (the right support at the right time can promote optimum healthy parent-infant relationship)
- where to go for support.

The period immediately after birth

- what is normal to feel
- what are warning signs of post-natal depression (PND)
- bonding with your baby (which can reduce risk of PND)
- where to go for support.

The longer-term post birth period

- what checks can you expect from your midwife or health visitor relating to PND and why they are done
- warning signs of PND
- how to look after your mental health and where to go for support

More complex mental health issues

- underlying mental-health issues and problems that can arise after birth, including postpartum psychosis
- highlighting warning signs
- support services that should be available to mums to help manage mental illness symptoms.

How do I watch Out of the Blue films?

The videos will be available on DVD and to watch on our website, in our Baby Buddy app and the web version of Baby Buddy.

Want to know more about Out of the Blue?

Visit the Out of the Blue Evidence, Impact and Evaluation page.
More information about terminology, impact, classification and further support is available on our Helping Parents with Mental Health Issues page.

The NSPCC’s infographic estimates the number of women affected by perinatal mental illnesses in England each year: