It is very common for women to struggle emotionally during this time and we are here to support you as or when it is needed. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your Community Midwife who can signpost and refer you to appropriate support.
On this page, you will find useful resources on various perinatal mental health conditions, as well as information on taking medication in pregnancy/whilst breastfeeding. You can also find local information on services within Fife that you can self refer to, including therapeutic services, local charities and online self help resources.
We know from research that the mental health of dads-to-be/partners is also incredibly important at this time. We have created a section for partners to view, so that they can also access support if needed. If you require any additional support, your Midwife can refer you to the Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service, who will work with you and your family to coordinate the appropriate care that you may need. There are lots of things that we can do to help.
There is a Perinatal Mental Health Midwife within the VIP Project, who provides support for women in Fife who experience mental health problems during pregnancy and the postnatal period. The Perinatal Mental Health Midwife coordinates care and signposts women and their families to additional support services as required. She also works closely with Maternity and Mental Health services to provide enhanced, individualised care for women with severe mental health conditions. This includes, where necessary, plans for additional support around the time of birth. The Perinatal Mental Health Midwife also offers advice for women who are prescribed medication for their mental health within pregnancy. The advice given helps women to make informed choices of the risks and benefits of taking medication for their mental health in the antenatal and postnatal period.
Mental Health Matters
More than 1 in 10 women will be affected by mental health problems during their pregnancy and/or after the birth of their baby. Mental illness can affect anybody regardless of previous history. Some women will experience a mental health problem for the first time during their pregnancy or after the birth of their baby. Other women will have had past or ongoing mental health problems and then become pregnant.
You will be asked throughout your pregnancy about your emotional wellbeing, as well as your physical health. It is important that you are open and honest about how you are feeling emotionally. It can be really overwhelming and difficult to admit that you’re struggling. Many women experience feelings of guilt and this can make it really difficult to tell somebody. It may be that you aren’t enjoying your pregnancy or the company of other people whom you normally would enjoy, such as your new baby, partner, best friend, or parent. You may be feeling increased anxiety or worry about the pregnancy/your baby and not want other people to help or interfere. Whatever your concerns, please know that you are not alone in feeling this way, and a healthcare professional is always available to offer non judgemental support and get you back on the right track.
Antidepressant medication in pregnancy
It is not uncommon for women to be prescribed antidepressant or antipsychotic medication before getting pregnant or during pregnancy. If you are taking any medication for your mental health when you find out that you are pregnant, it is very important that you don’t just stop taking the medication. You should instead speak to a health professional, such as your GP, Obstetrician or Midwife before stopping, so that you can discuss the benefits of remaining on medication vs. the risks.
Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy (BUMPs) is a useful website to weigh up the risks and benefits for taking medications within pregnancy.
Once on the website, simply use the search bar to type in the medication you are taking to read current information on its use in pregnancy and during breastfeeding in the postnatal period.
All medications prescribed within pregnancy are considered on a case by case basis. Your mental health is incredibly important, so your obstetrician/GP will work with you to decide whether medication is the best course of treatment for you. Sometimes taking an antidepressant or an antipsychotic medication in pregnancy is a necessity to make sure you are emotionally well and that is okay.
Mental health support services
Access Therapies Fife provides information to help you to deal with mental health problems and to access a range of local services.
The range of therapeutic services, includes groups, classes and online modules, as well as information on how to get referred for one to one psychological therapy, Telephone: 01383 565 427 Email: [email protected]
Create your own personalised emotional wellbeing plan for your pregnancy and the postnatal period. Interactive webpage that asks relevant tailored questions to your emotional needs.
Local charities and third sector organisations
Fife Better Than Well Service
A service provided by self help coaches who help people from Fife that have been affected by childhood abuse and trauma. Telephone: 01592 644 048
Link Living Charity
Organises other mental health support as well as the above ‘Better than Well’ service. Some of the services offered include peer support, advice and supported accommodation for people living in Fife with mental health problems. Telephone: 0330 303 0302
Support in Mind Scotland
National charity that offers support for people with mental health problems. Services in Fife include Fife Family Support project (group and one-to-one support for families affected by mental health), Hearing Voices Project (peer support group) and Resilience groups. For further info, please visit the website below. Telephone: 01592 268 388
Email: [email protected]
Fife Teen Parent Project
Fife Teen Parent Project provides vital support to teenage parents and pregnant teens no matter their circumstance and gives young parents the opportunity to meet others. Telephone: 01592 725 210 Email: [email protected]