It’s normal to feel some anxiety when you are expecting your baby. After all, it is a life changing event. But sometimes because of the fear and stigma around mental health many women choose not to disclose their fears or anxieties to their midwife or physician for fear of their baby being taken away, the negative perceptions around them as a mother, embarrassment or fear of being judged or labelled.
Did you know what around 10-15% of women experience depression and anxiety in early pregnancy? It’s higher than you think and you are not alone. If left untreated, antenatal anxiety can turn into depression and can trigger postnatal depression. In our society many women move away from the larger families and can feel isolated and unsupported. Social pressure to have the perfect pregnancy and birth and be a Yummy Mummy can heighten the stress levels more. Combined with the roller coaster of hormones of pregnancy and the postnatal period, it’s difficult to know which feelings are caused by your ever changing hormones and which are caused by other factors.
Some of the main indicators of depression in pregnancy and postnatal are:
What can I do to help myself?
You can also seek advice from PANDAS, the leading UK charity supporting families suffering from antenatal and postnatal illnesses. Call PANDAS Help Line (0843 28 98 104) for a confidential and friendly way to talk about your feeling and any concerns or http://www.pandasfoundation.org.uk
Don’t delay; seek the support you and your family deserve. Change your life for the better.
© Rachel Rafiefar
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