Many people seem to breeze through their pregnancy with very little problem – but you’ll often find when you talk to women they carried plenty of worry. This is natural. For some, they have additional thoughts and feelings, alongside maybe challenges in their personal circumstances, that may result in added difficulty. That’s not because there is anything fundamentally wrong with them – someone struggling with their mental health is not flawed or broken – they are just faced with a different set of challenges than say someone who had only a physical concern (eg swollen ankles) when pregnant.
When Things Feel Difficult
It’s important to remember that some signs you experience can be a normal response to the pregnancy, everyone is different. The causes of poor mental health are different for everyone, particularly during and after pregnancy. Theories and reasons for poor mental health may include:
- Persistent nausea or having morning sickness
- Physical changes in the way your body looks (e.g. putting on weight, or swollen legs)
- A fear of losing the baby, especially if there is a history of miscarriage or still birth
- Worrying about how you will cope once the baby is born
- Repetitive thoughts about the pregnancy, a relationship, work or money
- History of depression or anxiety-related considerations
- Fear of the unknown and what the future holds
- Unplanned or unexpected pregnancy
- Chemical or hormonal changes due to the pregnancy
There may be no obvious reason, which makes seeking professional help an important part of your recovery. If you think you may be experiencing poor mental health, let your doctor or midwife know straight away.
Many women worry if they disclose poor mental health to a professional, there will be questions raised about their fitness to parent. But talking about your concerns shows you’re open to the help available and more likely to get the support you need early on. This can help you achieve a positive outcome for you and your family.
Please read the important information at the foot of this website before making decisions about your health and wellbeing.
©️ Delphi Ellis 2004 – updated 2021