Pregnancy and maternal mental health
Psychological illness in pregnancy:
The period of pregnancy and the birth of a baby can be joyful and at times stressful experience. For some women persistent stressors or negative experiences can predispose to a range of emotional health conditions. Early signs of depression or anxiety during this period may go undiagnosed and unaddressed due to the expected physiological changes during this period.
Depression can affect a person at any time of life, but the likelihood increases during pregnancy, with up to one in ten women experiencing depression during pregnancy. The exact rates of anxiety in pregnancy are unconfirmed, there is evidence to suggest that anxiety disorders are fairly common in pregnancy and in the months after the baby is born.
Despite maternal mental health issues being common, however, often the symptoms of depression and anxiety may be overlooked, interpreted as part of pregnancy or attributed to poor coping during this period. A range of other psychological symptoms can also be precipitated or may reappear due to the stress experienced during pregnancy and after the birth of the baby.
Support with resilience and coping
Unaddressed psychological symptoms in pregnancy can affect the mother’s resilience and coping, impact on early bonding between the mother and baby and in severe presentations pose a direct risk to the mother and baby. There is increasing evidence that the stress of psychological disorders during pregnancy can adversely affect the developing foetus.
Being pregnant and becoming a new parent is life changing
Depression and anxiety in pregnancy or immediately after childbirth are common maternal mental health issues affecting many women. I can help. Contact Sid for support if you’re struggling to cope.