What do I do if I think I have antenatal depression?
Antenatal depression is just as real as postnatal depression, here’s what to do if you think you are suffering with it
With hormones raging and your body changing at speed, it’s perfectly normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. In fact, one in every 10 pregnant women suffers from antenatal depression. But if you’re worried depression is setting in, it’s crucial you get help. With the right support, you can start enjoying your pregnancy and get emotionally ready for your baby too.
Signs of antenatal depression
Signs to look out for that you may be suffering with antenatal depression include:
- Feeling generally down most of the time
- Can’t be bothered with things
- Unable to concentrate or make decisions
- Not enjoying life
- Feeling tearful
- Feeling restless and agitated
- Thinking about harming yourself
Talk to someone
Feeling fed up every now and then is perfectly normal, but if it’s not going away, you may have antenatal depression - a recognised condition that can be treated with medication and counselling. You can keep an eye on your moods with our symptom tracker tool, and if you’re at all concerned, speak to your GP or midwife straight away.
Not your fault
Let’s get real – it’s not all great being pregnant. When you’re exhausted and wrangling with powerful hormones, it’s normal to feel deflated. You might feel guilty telling people how you’re feeling – isn’t this meant to be such a ‘happy time’? But it really isn't anything you have control over, or anything you’re doing wrong. It doesn’t mean you don’t want to be pregnant, or won’t be a wonderful mum – it just means that right now, you are not feeling great.
Talk things over
You might find it helpful to talk through your feelings with other pregnant mums, because you are most certainly not alone. Organisations like Mind and the Samaritans also offer great support.
Don’t stop your medication
If you’re already taking medication for depression, don’t stop until you’ve sought advice – have a chat with your midwife or GP about the risks and benefits of continuing with various drugs throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
You will feel better
Pregnancy can be a very emotionally challenging time, but you will get through with the right support and advice.