Will my baby be taken away?

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

Pregnant woman looking down at her bump.

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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Comments

  • 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-

    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/mental-health-faqs/will-my-baby-be-taken-away
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/mental-wellbeing/treatment-and-support-mental-health

    https://www.tommys.org/sites/default/files/Getting%20help%20and%20support%20for%20common%20mental%20health%20problems_0.pdf

    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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