Mental health and wellbeing tips during and after pregnancy

1) Try to create a routine

Something that can help sustain or improve mood can be a simple, flexible routine that offers a bit of structure and reassurance. This could involve writing down a daily schedule and putting it somewhere where you can easily refer to it. Of course, if you have children or a baby, your routine can be shaped around any routines that you may be making for them, however loosely.

To help fill your schedule, you could first make a list of mental, physical and social activities to choose from (see below for some top tips and ideas). Then, if possible, add a mix of these activities to each day, as this can be beneficial to adults, children and babies.

Top tips for mental, physical and social activities
  1. Keep activities short and simple.
  2. Set yourself realistic targets for each activity, ie don’t overstretch yourself.
  3. Try to do a mix of things you normally enjoy at home and some new things you might like to try. It might be cooking something different or drawing a doodle or making a card – give it a try, even for just a few minutes
  4. Put time aside (however short) to relax or chill out. This could involve ‘doing nothing’, which is fine, or doing something that relaxes you.
  5. Contact family and friends. Getting in touch with other people is usually good for us.
  6. Think about planning when you’ll do certain activities. This way you’re more likely to do an activity, and it can make you look forward to each one too.
  7. If you’re supported by someone else in your home, ask them to plan your activities with you. If it helps to make you feel good, ask them to take part in your activities.
  8. If you have a baby or young children, you may want to get them involved in some of the activities that make you feel good, e.g. dancing to some music with your baby.
Activity ideas:


  • Create a wellbeing plan or make daily entries in a journal. You can find some tips on how to do this at Maternal Journal.
  • Take weekly photographs of your bump or baby. Write down developmental changes.
  • Read to yourself or your baby.
  • Sing to your baby.
  • Make up a story for your baby. You could do it with a partner or another child.
  • Draw your baby or something in your home.
  • Listen to some music you enjoy.


  • If possible, keep doing things you would normally enjoy or get satisfaction from
  • Go for a short local walk.
  • Self-massage or massage your baby.
  • Have a bath by yourself or with your baby.
  • Exercise daily, indoors (there are now lots of online classes) or outdoors.
  • Once a week, go for a longer walk to somewhere new.
  • If you have some outdoor space, do a spot of gardening or tend to your houseplants.


  • Phone or video call a relative or friend. Talk about something you’ve done, share a photo of you or baby or anything!
  • Organise a virtual activity with someone, e.g. do your maternal journal with a friend.
  • Send messages from your baby, even if it’s not born yet. Imagine what your baby would like to say to someone, and maybe add a photo too.
  • Find out if there’s a group for pregnant women or new mums you can join. Many now offer activities like online music, singing, yoga and exercise sessions.
  • Do something kind for someone, such as sending a birthday card, buying groceries for an elderly neighbour or putting up a greeting in your window. An act like this usually makes us feel good, with or without any thanks!

Please remember that it is okay if your plans for an activity or even your whole day have to change or don’t work out. Try your best to be flexible and be kind to yourself.

2) A healthy mind and body

To help manage and reduce any low moods or anxiety, you may find the following helpful:

1. Try to catch specific thoughts that may be making you feel low. Look for what’s going through your mind while you are feeling anxious or upset.

2. Check whether these thoughts are indeed accurate, healthy and compassionate for you.

3. If not, try to replace these thoughts with more accurate, healthy and compassionate ones.

4. Try to remind yourself to do this whenever you realise you’re having these thoughts.

Be kind to yourself

Another good strategy is to consider what you would say to a good friend if they were having the thoughts you are having. This is because we often talk more harshly to ourselves than we do to our friends.

You could also try simple free online therapy for mums or mindfulness to help improve your mental wellbeing. Often it is not possible to completely remove or replace unhelpful thoughts. But you can learn ways to live with them or soften them slightly, without reacting to them.

It may also help to remind yourself that you are not alone. Most pregnant women and new mums will be having similar thoughts to you at the moment. That’s because everyone’s plans for their pregnancy, labour, delivery and early days with their baby are likely to have changed in some way because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Finally, some good things, some real silver linings, may have come out of this extraordinary time. If that’s the case, enjoy and cherish them. However, if you feel like there are no positives, don’t worry. Just be as kind to yourself as possible.

Read more tips on dealing with anxiety and low mood

Small steps can make a big difference

If you are feeling anxious and / or have low mood, this can seem overwhelming at times. However, if there’s something you know you can do to alleviate these feelings a little bit, no matter how small, it can often help and make things more bearable.

So if you feel up to it, try to think of things you can realistically change or do to make you feel less worried or upset. If this requires help, try your best to ask for this help, whether it’s from someone you live with, a person you can contact, or an organisation that can offer support.

If you do try to change or do something but find it too difficult, don’t worry. Simply move on to the next thing on your list and attempt that instead. Any small wins you achieve, no matter how trivial they may seem, will be worth the effort.

Try to look after your physical health to boost your mental health

Some of the ways pregnant women and new mums can improve their overall health to help improve their mental health are:

3) Being with your baby

What your baby needs most is you. It’s a scientific fact that your face is the most interesting thing in the world to your baby. Also, in the first year or two, your baby will learn faster than at any other time in its life. And even during your pregnancy your baby can sense and learn from what is happening in the outside world and how you’re feeling.

Therefore, simply being with your baby and involving it in your daily activities is enough. You don’t need to worry if you can’t or don’t want to go out a lot, or you can’t meet with others.

It’s also important to remember to take breaks when you can and be kind to yourself, which will in turn benefit your baby.

4) Focus on information you can trust

The constant flow of news and social media can make us all feel a little overwhelmed. This potential excess of information may be causing you additional worry and anxiety.

If you feel overwhelmed try to only access the information you and your family need to stay informed. This could involve you setting specific times to go online to seek information, or only watching certain news programmes.

It may also help if you only access information from reliable sources. To help you do this, we have provided the following links:

See MMHA members who can help

5) It's OK to ask for help and support

There are times in all our lives when we need the help and support of other people. If you need help with your mental health right now, try not to be worried or afraid about asking for that support and making good use of it.

Talk to your partner or a family member or friend (or a support organisation) about how you’re feeling to engage their support. There will always be times in the future when you can pay back kindness shown to you.

Expert help is available

Doctors, midwives and health visitors are ready to support you if you need help with your mental health.

Worried you or a loved one are unwell? Find out what to do >