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Antenatal mental health conditions

While people are aware of emotional and mental health problems that can occur after the baby is born, often people don’t realise that pregnancy also increases the likelihood of developing emotional health conditions.

A lot of emphasis is put on postnatal depression.  It was only when I went online that I realised how common antenatal depression was.

Also, because it is expected that pregnancy comes with many hormonal changes, often early signs of antenatal depression or anxiety are associated with this – and, hence, the conditions go unrecognised and untreated.

I just thought it was a normal part of pregnancy and coping with hormonal and lifestyle changes that naturally occur.

Whilst some degree of stress is normal as you begin to adjust to the current and impending changes, if you find that negative or apprehensive thoughts and feelings are starting to take over, dominate your thinking and feeling, and are beginning to impact on your ability to function from day to day, this could be a sign that you are experiencing a mental health condition.  It is important to be informed and aware of mental health conditions in pregnancy and seek appropriate help early.

There are several types of mental health conditions that can occur in pregnancy.  The most common of these are anxiety and depression, which can be treated using a range of safe and effective treatments during pregnancy.

Alternatively, bipolar disorder is a less common, more serious mental health problem that can occur for the first time or re-emerge during pregnancy, requiring specialised medical treatment.