PANDA National Helpline (Mon to Fri, 9am - 7.30pm AEST/AEDT) 1300 726 306

HomeUnderstanding thoughts and feelings

Understanding thoughts and feelings

New parenthood brings big changes

Even when change is positive, it can still be challenging. Having mixed and complex emotions as a new parent is normal, but these can be confronting emotions to manage.

If your feelings are worrying you or affecting your ability to function in daily life, you may be experiencing symptoms of antenatal anxiety or depression. This is nothing to be ashamed of, postnatal mental health concerns are common.

Here you'll find information that can help you understand the things you might be thinking and feeling as a new parent.

Jump to
Coping with strong emotions
Signs and symptoms
Postnatal anxiety
Postnatal depression
Calling the PANDA Helpline
Mental health checklist
Information for new parents
Coping with strong emotions

Prioritise your emotional wellbeing

Parenthood is a time of transformation and change. Sometimes the intensity of mixed emotions can leave you feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.

It may feel tempting to push strong unwanted feelings aside or deny them altogether. Yet these emotions don’t disappear - often they simmer under the surface and grow stronger.

When we sit with strong and uncomfortable emotions, they gradually begin to feel less intense and scary. Learning to sit with strong emotions instead of pushing them away or numbing them can be hard work, and it takes practice.

Find out more and learn strategies to help you cope.

Coping with strong emotions as a new parent

“HOW CAN I FEEL A SENSE OF LOSS WHEN I WANTED MY BABY SO MUCH? IS IT OKAY TO SAY I FEEL BORED AND LONELY SOME DAYS? WHAT KIND OF PARENT FEELS IRRITATED AND ANGRY WITH A BABY?”

Signs and symptoms

Understanding what you're feeling

Postnatal anxiety and depression symptoms can be different for each new parent. Many new parents experience a mixed mood that includes both depressed and anxious symptoms.

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

If you don’t feel comfortable speaking with family and friends about what’s happening, 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.

Postnatal anxiety

1

Changes to mood

2

Changes to behaviour

3

Changes to relationships

Postnatal depression

1

Changes to mood

2

Changes to behaviour

3

Changes to relationships

Calling the PANDA Helpline

What happens when I call the PANDA Helpline?

PANDA is a national telephone counselling service delivered by professional counsellors and dedicated peer support volunteers with a lived experienceof perinatal mental health issues.

When you call PANDA, we’ll provide a safe, caring and confidential space for you to talk through any concerns you may have as an expecting or new parent, or support person.

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
Information for new parents

all articles

Was this page helpful?

Please Tell us more

PANDA acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land where we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We celebrate the stories, culture and traditions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders of all communities who also work and live on this land.

Stay in the loop

Stay up to date by subscribing to PANDA's e-newsletter. Containing personal stories, research, inspiration and more.

Get support
Expecting a babyNew ParentsGrowing FamiliesDadsLanguages other than English
Registered-charity-logoNSMHS-logo

While PANDA has exercised due care in ensuring the accuracy of the material contained on this website, the information is made available on the basis that PANDA is not providing professional advice on a particular matter. This website is not a substitute for independent professional advice. Nothing contained in this website is intended to be used as medical advice, nor should it be used as a substitute for your own health professional's advice.

Privacy policyTerms & Conditions
Structured Content powered by Sanity.io
© PANDA 2022
Structured Content powered by Sanity.io
Quick Exit Site

Mental Health Checklist

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Eligendi deleniti laboriosam doloremque qui nostrum quibusdam facere accusamus totam ratione provident? Aliquid ipsum perferendis harum ab quasi? Minima itaque ex minus?