Will my baby be taken away?

Social services will never take a baby into care just because the mother has a mental health problem.

Mental health problems can usually be managed through medication and/or talking (psychological) therapies. That’s why it’s important to tell your midwife or doctor about your mental health condition, even if you have been feeling well for a long time. This will help them organise any treatment or extra care you may need if you become unwell again.

Some women worry that if they ask for help for their symptoms, people may think they are a bad parent and can’t care for their baby. In fact, the opposite is true. Asking for help and getting the right treatment means you are doing the best for your baby. This is good parenting.

Social services will only take a baby into care if you and the baby’s dad can’t look after them safely (because of your mental health problem or for any other reason).

Healthcare professionals work really hard to support mums with mental health problems so they can look after their children. Don’t be afraid to tell your midwife, doctor or health visitor how you’re feeling at any time.

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    Last reviewed on October 11th, 2018. Next review date October 11th, 2021.

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    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
    • By Lupe Guillen (not verified) on 24 Feb 2020 - 01:50

      Can s hospital social worker take away your baby if the mother didn't take prenatal care

    • By Sharon (not verified) on 22 Jun 2019 - 08:19

      I have a daughter who is in pycosis since March she was admitted to mental health on 10 March 2019 she is now 37 weeks pregnant won’t be discharged till September she is settling better this last few days facs have been involved this last four months
      My daughter has consented to full anesetic C section at 39 weeks but has to stay in ward hosp 4 days than back in pyc ward till September where dose baby stay

    • By Annonymious (not verified) on 21 Jun 2019 - 19:17

      Heyvi was wandering will social services take a child away if the mother has anxiety but is perfectly capable of keeping her child warm fed well clothed and loved when will they take the child away

    • By Amber (not verified) on 30 Apr 2019 - 08:15

      My baby is nearly 2 years old and I havent been well for the past few weeks. It started off by me taking new anti depressants and they don't work, solely I've been getting worse and worse and now I cannot sleep a wink for the past few days, I feel manic and tired at the same time. I need to be admitted into a mental hospital so I can get help with my severe anxiety and depression but am scared my daughter will be taken into care. My husband can care for her but he works night shift at the moment and would have to give that up to look after her.

    • By anon (not verified) on 1 Apr 2018 - 18:50

      I've tried to look for help. I've begged and gone round and round in circles with the NHS for years. I thought they would help when I got pregnant, but they didn't. Now I have my child, I'm scared to ask for help 'cos they'll take her away. I feel like I'd be better off dead, because at least then my baby would be able to stay with my partner. While I'm alive, I'm just a curse. It's too risky, I should just take myself out of the situation to make sure she stays safe.

    • By Midwife @Tommys on 5 Apr 2018 - 14:02

      Thank you for your comment. I'm very sorry and also concerned to hear that you are feeling this way. Please continue to ask for help-this can be through your GP or you can self refer to mental health services where you live if this is what you need to help you. If you are very scared about the way you are feeling and think you are going to harm yourself please go to your nearest A&E as you can be seen urgently by the emergency mental health team who can assess and treat you.
      Please do not feel scared to ask for help because you think your child may be taken away-Mental health and social services are both there to support and help you with the way you are feeling.
      I hope you have family and friends you can talk to about the way you are feeling
      I have attached some links that you may find helpful-



      Please do not hesitate to contact Tommy's PregnancyLIne
      0800 0147 800 if you would like to talk to a midwife

      Take care
      Tommy's Midwife

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