My name is Delphi. When I found out I was expecting in 2003, it was a huge shock when my midwife, Zoe, told me she thought I was suffering with poor mental health in pregnancy.
It was a shock, because I would have described myself as a cheerful and positive person, delighted to be pregnant. But it was fair to say I was miserable at the same time. The words ‘poor mental health’ filled me with panic, because of what this might mean for my baby and me.
Thankfully, Zoe reassured me I wasn’t alone. At the time, the research identified at least one in ten women experienced poor mental health in pregnancy. These days the figures are even higher.
The last thing you may expect when you’re expecting is to feel depressed, anxious or stressed, and those closest to you may find it hard to understand.
This is why, when you’re feeling low, it’s important to surround yourself with people who can support you. Your doctor and midwife are the obvious choice to support any health concerns you may have – physically or mentally; and nationally recognised healthcare guidelines are now in place to make sure they look after you.
Your family and friends can also play an important part in being there for you during your pregnancy and beyond. Encouraging them to keep comments helpful and ask you how they can help, can make all the difference. This updated website, originally written just for depression in pregnancy, is with both you and them in mind, with links to other resources available.
This website must not replace any medical advice you will be receiving from your health care team. It is designed to help you consider positive ways to manage your mental health during and after your pregnancy. If you have any concerns about your mental health, please speak to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible.
The original website has featured in: The Guardian, Pregnancy & Birth, Prima Baby, Daily Express and many more as well as BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour. To find out more about me and the work I do, click here.