Perinatal mental health Perinatal anxiety Perinatal anxiety 1 in 4 people will experience anxiety in their lifetime and for women it is more likely to occur during pregnancy or in the year following birth. As many as 1 in 5 women will experience perinatal anxiety. Certain factors, such as mental health history, complicated pregnancy or birth, or having an unwell or unsettled baby can increase the likelihood of developing perinatal anxiety. Anxiety can be described as a ‘loss of control’ of thoughts and emotions. Feelings of guilt and self-blame are common signs of anxiety in the perinatal period, but people may experience any range of physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms are often so exhausting that they can create a cycle that is hard to overcome. Depression can also occur at the same time as anxiety. All parents are likely to experience some symptoms of postnatal anxiety at times, particularly when emotionally and physically exhausted. If you experience symptoms that are impacting your daily life for longer than 2 weeks, we encourage you to discuss this with a health professional. Your GP is a great place to start as they can look into whether you might benefit from clinical treatment, and inform you about the options that are available to you. At the Perinatal Wellbeing Centre, we can support you to find your way through the anxiety and learn new ways to care for yourself. We can work with you to find the strategies that work best for you.