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Perinatal anxiety and depression: Signs and symptoms

Perinatal anxiety and depression can be mild, moderate or severe. The symptoms can begin suddenly after birth or gradually in the weeks and months after.

Perinatal anxiety and/or depression affects up to 1 in 5 new mums and up to 1 in 10 new dads. The severity of postnatal anxiety and depression depends on the intensity, frequency and type of symptoms, and how much they interfere with your ability to function in daily life.

Everyone’s experience of perinatal anxiety and depression is unique

We know that everyone experiences symptoms of perinatal anxiety and depression differently. The way it affects you can depend on a range of factors. Your own physical, emotional and mental make-up and stressful external situations may combine to increase the risk of you developing symptoms of perinatal anxiety and/or depression.

There are also different degrees of mental health decline. Some people experience mild symptoms of postnatal anxiety or depression, while others experience moderate to severe symptoms. Some mums experiencing symptoms of perinatal anxiety and/or depression may also develop symptoms of postnatal psychosis.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms (or any others) that are affecting your daily function and mental and emotional wellbeing after the birth of your baby, it’s a good idea to talk to someone.

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with family and friends just yet, you can call PANDA. We’ll listen, give you more information and can help you link in with postnatal mental health supports in your area.

Helpful Information

Talking about perinatal mental health
Read More

Anxiety symptoms

The combination and severity of symptoms will be different for every parent.


Changes to mood


Changes to behaviour


Anxiety and relationships

Depression symptoms

The combination and severity of symptoms will be different for every parent.


Changes to mood


Changes to behaviour


Changes to relationships

Mental health checklist

How are you going?

Everyone’s experience of pregnancy, birth and parenting is unique and brings different rewards and challenges. Our mental health checklist can help you to see if what you’re experiencing or observing in a loved one could be reason to seek help.

Checklist for

Expecting Mums
Expecting Dads and Non-birth Parents
New Mums
New Dads and Non-birth Parents
Partners and Carers

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