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Prenatal depression

Prenatal depression occurs during pregnancy. Everyone’s experience of prenatal depression (also known as antenatal depression) is different. But it’s important to keep a close eye on how you’re feeling, both mentally and physically.

What are the symptoms?

  • Feeling low
  • Anxiety
  • Not enjoying life or pregnancy
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Avoiding socialising 
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

Causes

Nausea
A side effect of hormone imbalance during pregnancy is nausea, which, for many women, is more than ‘morning sickness’. The nausea can last all day and sometimes for the full nine months.

Previous miscarriage or stillbirth
If you’ve suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth previously, it’s understandable that any further pregnancies might cause you to feel anxious and scared. A new pregnancy can also stir emotions of loss and grief because of what you went through before. If you’re in this situation, you can talk to your midwife or GP, who may recommend counselling.

Treatment

Although most cases of prenatal (antenatal) depression disappear with the birth of the child, in one third of cases the mother goes on to suffer from postnatal depression. This shows why it’s so important to treat depression during pregnancy, for the benefit of both mum and baby.

You can talk to your GP or midwife about how you’re feeling, so they can assess whether you’re suffering from prenatal depression. They may recommend counselling to help you come to terms with your emotions.

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    I wasn’t excited about
    being pregnant, I dreaded
    each day”

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