Most pregnancy literature will tell expectant mothers who have previously experienced clinical depression to look out for red-flag symptoms during the first few months after birth. Postnatal depression is a well-known condition in new mothers, and the warning signs are relatively well understood.
Pre-natal depression on the other hand, is a term that describes a depression that takes hold during pregnancy, even in cases in which expectant the expectant mother is delighted and cannot identify any triggers for the depressive episodes they are experiencing.
According to the mental health charity Mind, an estimated one in 10 women experience this kind of depression during their pregnancy.
Mind head of information Beth Murphy explains that the reasons behind the depression are complex. “The hormonal changes which occur during pregnancy are a factor, as is the fact that many pregnant women feel isolated and discriminated against. In addition, a lot of women feel that there is more stigma attached to being depressed whilst pregnant. There is a widespread assumption that they should be happy so they may be reluctant to talk to about their feelings or seek help which, of course, can make the problem worse.” She said.
If you are pregnant and experiencing these symptoms then help is at hand. Visit your GP who will be able to provide you with a diagnosis and will refer you on to the appropriate services. Treatment options will vary from person to person but commonly include options such as talking therapies and dietary and exercise recommendations. GPs will tend to avoid antidepressants because the risk they pose to the unborn child is still largely unknown.
Expectant mothers looking for a natural treatment route may also wish to try hypnosis in addition to the treatment options recommended by their GP. Hypnotherapy has long since been used for relaxation and stress reduction and in many cases has successfully alleviated symptoms of depression. To find out how hypnotherapy may be able to help you, please visit our depression fact-sheet for further information.
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