Most pregnant women have some awareness of post-natal depression as it is a clear agenda item for our health care providers. We are told of the signs and symptoms, when and what to look for.
But what about when depression sets in when you are still pregnant?
Perinatal depression is a common mental health condition that occurs when a woman is still pregnant with her child. There is a focus on the physical changes that come with carrying a baby, but very little focus or information on the emotional changes that occur.
It can be a very overwhelming time; the prospect of having responsibility for another human being can be too much for some women. Combined with the hormone overdrive, changing body shape, tiredness and potential financial pressures, a woman can easily slip into depression. It is important to acknowledge that like some unexpected physical health issues, mental health issues can also come up in pregnancy.
It is important to talk about how you feel, and seek help if necessary. Some important ways to look after yourself and your mental health in pregnancy include: