Two self report questionnaires, the Anxiety and Depression scales of Bedford and Foulds (SAD), and 10 visual analogue scales were each administered on several occasions during pregnancy and the puerperium to a representative sample of 425 childbearing women. Those women who each completed the analogue scales during pregnancy at 12 and 23 weeks and at 1 week and 5 months after childbirth (N = 230) showed no association between depression or anxiety and either the gravidity or method of delivery on any of the four occasions. Depression, anxiety and tearfulness on the visual analogue scales increased significantly 1 week after delivery, when compared with the other 3 occasions. The SAD failed to detect an increase in depression or anxiety at this time and its validity during pregnancy was also not satisfactory. Only 3 women were referred to a psychiatrist during the study, none of whom had an affective illness.