An ITV News survey in conjunction with the charity PANDAS, who provide help and support for parents suffering with perinatal mental illnesses, has found more than half of parents have had suicidal thoughts.
Over a thousand women took part in the survey, which also found:
What is perinatal mental illness?
It refers to a mental health problems during pregnancy and the first year after birth.
Many parents experience postnatal depression (PND) after having a baby.
Symptoms include: feeling of sadness, difficulty bonding with your baby, fatigue, panicked thoughts, a lack of interest or pleasure, problems concentrating and making decisions
PND can also affect fathers and partners, although it is less common
A mother's story
For six years, Jessica Addicott struggled to bond with her eldest son.
Negative feelings towards her child had emerged during Jessica's pregnancy and intensified when she found out she was expecting a boy.
"I thought if it's a girl then I could possibly savour some sort of relationship and have a mother and daughter relationship, " Jessica told ITV News.
"But then I found out it was a boy and it made me feel a lot worse,"
But after Jessica gave birth, she developed post natal depression and became increasingly unwell.
Jessica eventually began to felt suicidal: "I didn’t want to run away until it was quite down the line. That’s when I started to feel the suicidal thoughts came in."
She has since bonded with eldest son and believes it is now time to break down the hidden pain of giving birth.
Dr Giles Berrisford, the Associate National Clinical Director for Perinatal Mental Health, said:
"Unfortunately we know that for a lot of women that transition into motherhood can be an incredibly stressful time.
"We know that a lot of women at that time will suffer from suicidal ideas and I think it reinforces the fact that they ought to be receiving help at that point."