History of mental health conditions
If you have experienced mental health conditions in the past, this can increase your likelihood that these (or other) mental health conditions may arise in pregnancy (or after having your baby).
This is why often health professionals will ask you if you have ever experienced conditions like anxiety, depression or other mental health conditions in the past, or if mental health problems may run in your family.
Of course it does not automatically mean that you will develop a mental health condition at this time – just that your risk may be higher.
Being aware and informed
It is useful therefore to prepare yourself by being aware of this and informed. One way to do this of course is by educating yourself about the different signs of and symptoms of anxiety and depression that can arise in pregnancy – as well as being informed about the more serious mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder.
Often women may find it useful to reflect on other times that they may have experienced such a condition or ‘episode’, and try to remember what were some of the possible early signs that this was occurring.
By being aware of what to look and informed – particularly about your own personal ‘cues’, this places you in the best possible position to identify if these symptoms are occurring as soon as possible. Ultimately this will allow you to access safe and effective help and treatments as soon as possible.
By seeking help early, you can work with your health professional reduce your feelings of distress in pregnancy, and you can be in as good a space as possible before the baby arrives.