Being pregnant can be an exciting and nerve-racking time. Mental health is fluid and we can all move up and down the mental health continuum throughout our lives. How much we move up and down the continuum can be exaggerated during times of significant change, such as pregnancy. Emotional distress or mental health problems can affect you during pregnancy in a number of ways such as;
• Anxiety – about the baby, concerns about the upcoming labour, worry that you will not connect with your baby, anxiety about becoming a parent, concerns that you are not ready to become a parent.
• Depression – Pre-partum blues or mild depression during pregnancy is generally related to the huge social and physical changes that are taking place for the expectant mother. Change is a part of life and can be a good thing however it usually involves loss of some sort. This can lead to mixed feelings during pregnancy.
• The baby blues – New mothers usually get the baby blues in the first two weeks following childbirth. This is very common and affects as many as 8 in 10 women.
• Postnatal depression – Post-natal depression can happen at any time for up to 2 years after giving birth and affects 1 in 8 women. Post Natal Depression can have a significant impact on the mother, baby and their wider family.