Site last updated: 13/05/2015 9:16:22 a.m.
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Information for Pregnant Mothers Information About Babies Information about Postnatal Depression Info for Fathers and Family/Whanau Support and Help Info about Related Conditions
Mothers Mental Health Oranga Hinengaro

The most risky time to become mentally unwell is after having a baby.

10 -15%


15 - 20%

1 - 2%


of women suffer from depression after having a baby


of pregnant women suffer from depression


of women suffer from anxiety during and after pregnancy


of women suffer from bipolar disorder during and after pregnancy


of women suffer from postpartum psychosis

Mothering myths

  • A mother immediately loves & knows instinctively what her baby needs.
  • A mother should be able to devote herself fully to her baby.
  • The birth of a baby brings huge joy, happiness & contentment to a family.
  • A mother should be able to bond quickly with her baby to prevent long-term damage to the child.
  • Maori & Pacifica mothers have better whanau support & are less likely to get PND or related conditions.

Medical Professionals

To quickly access relevant information for you, see EPDS, Medications to use, Medical Information about each condition and Supports available in your area. Fact sheets are available for your patients.



Why is it important to identify these mothers and families?

Treatment and support is available

Without help:

  • relationships fall apart
  • children suffer
  • mothers become isolated
  • families are strained
  • rarely, serious consequences occur

With help, most of this can be prevented.



Reality is more like:

“having a baby gives you so much, yet you lose so much of who you are- your independence and freedom”
- Erin

In reality, having a baby can bring huge joy & happiness but a new journey for mothers, fathers & their families begins with many highs and lows.

Sleepless nights.... crying baby.... tiredness.... responsibility.... breastfeeding problems....
A mother does not necessarily fall in love and bond with her baby immediately. Mothering is not instinctive.

Extra help & support is needed. It is OK to ask for this help & support. Mothers & fathers need “time out” from their baby.

The journey may not easy. A mother can get unwell & become sick with PND, anxiety, bipolar disorder or psychosis. This is not uncommon.

Help is available for mothers, fathers & families/whanau.

Maori Mum and Baby


We welcome getting your feedback and appreciate all of you who have contacted this site to date. We will make changes and add additions as we are able. Thank you.



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