Depression and anxiety are the most common mental health problems in pregnancy and affects approximately 15% of all expectant mothers. It is expected that your emotions are heightened during pregnancy. There are many external and internal factors which can cause an increase in your emotional state during pregnancy, and it does not mean you are “moody” or “crazy”. Pregnancy emotions are a normal part of development.
Changing emotions are, for many women, one of the most common side effects during pregnancy. It can be frustrating and exhausting to shift from one emotion to another and be unable to explain what emotion you are feeling and why. During pregnancy, women experience an increase in the production of hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, depending on how far along they are in their pregnancy. This increase in hormones can have an impact on your emotions and your brain’s ability to monitor those emotions. This is quite common and should not be a cause of concern unless you find yourself in a state of intense emotional instability and distress.
Pregnancy changes your body in all sorts of ways. Morning sickness, backache, headache, leg cramps, varicose veins, itchiness, constipation, haemorrhoids, indigestion, and vaginal discharge are some of the realities of pregnancy. And not surprisingly, they can affect how you feel about being pregnant. These are all common worries and you may feel some or all these things during your pregnancy. But if these feelings of sadness, worry or anxiety start to affect your life, it may be something more serious, like perinatal depression or anxiety. According to PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia), up to one in ten women experience depression during their pregnancy.
It is important to treat mental health concerns during pregnancy. Mothers who are depressed, anxious, or have another issue might not get the medical care they need. They might not take care of themselves, or they may use drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy. All these things can harm a growing baby.
If you have a mental health issue, talk with your doctor so you can get the help you need during and after your pregnancy.
How Can I Get Help?
If you feel anxious or depressed, talk to a doctor, counsellor, or therapist, and get help right away. The sooner treatment starts, the sooner you will feel better.
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