The aims of this study were to characterize postpartum psychological functioning of women conceiving through assisted reproductive technology (ART) and to identify factors that may be associated with early parenting difficulties defined as: postpartum psychological distress, low maternal confidence and admission to residential early parenting services. A prospective longitudinal study of the experiences of childbirth and early mothering was conducted in a consecutive cohort of women recruited in pregnancy from two large ART centres in Melbourne in the state of Victoria, Australia. Of the 239 women eligible for participation 183 (77%) accepted. Data were compared with population data and data from community based studies of parturient women. Contrary to studies, which have concluded that early adjustment to parenthood after assisted conception is unproblematic, this study made the original finding of much higher rates of early parenting difficulties requiring hospital admission after assisted than spontaneous conception. This study contributes substantially to better understanding of the effects of infertility and ART on the experience of childbirth and postnatal adjustment.