Skip to main content

Pregnancy & early parenting

Many parents struggle with the highs and lows of pregnancy and parenting.

Pregnancy and your little one’s early years can be a joyful time. But it can also feel overwhelming.

If that sounds familiar – if it’s affecting your life, wellbeing or relationships, particularly with your baby – You are not alone and there is support available.

Many parents experience difficult or unexpected feelings during pregnancy and/or following the birth of their baby. If these feelings are ongoing, it is important to talk to someone who understands you and to seek help early.

Some of these feelings may include:

  • Sad or low mood
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent tearfulness
  • Difficulty completing normal tasks
  • Tiredness, loneliness, feeling overwhelmed
  • Problems with sleeping and eating
  • Irritability and frustration
  • Poor concentration and memory
  • Fear of harming self or baby
  • Feeling a loss of control
  • Feelings of guilt or low self-esteem

By looking after yourself first, you will be best placed to nurture the needs of your baby and others, while giving yourself the opportunity to have an experience of parenthood that is as positive as it can be.

Many worry about what others may think about them as a person and/or mother if they are not coping or if they are experiencing mental health challenges. The truth is that one way or another everyone has their struggles.

There are many helpful supports available to support you through pregnancy and early parenting.  Reaching out for help is the first step to feeling better. You will have an opportunity to discuss mental health support with your midwife or doctor at your antenatal appointments and during the early postnatal period. Once you have left the hospital with your baby, your maternal child health nurse and GP will be available to discuss any concerns. 

Please refer to the links below, download this resource guide, or call Barwon Health's 24/7 help, information and referral line on 1300 094 187.


Personal, social and environmental factors may alter an individual’s experience or perception of this information. A person’s culture, religion, spirituality or ancestral spirituality can influence how this information relates to your health & wellbeing, as well as your community.

Last Modified: Monday, 20 February 2023