Maternity Mental Health

 

Between 2006 -2011 suicide was the leading cause of maternal deaths, according to the 2013 perinatal & maternal mortality statistics. Women who have a history of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders, PTSD etc are more likely to suffer from mental health problems both during and after pregnancy.

It is important to note that depression is not exclusive to the post-natal period and women may experience depression at any time during the "maternity" period. Also that depression is not the only mental health issue that women experience and other mental health problems such as anxiety, PTSD, pyschosis and obsessive disorders may occur in pregnancy or post-natally.

This page gives a little information on mental health, but by no means is intended to be a complete nor absolute resource for mental well-being during your maternity period.

There are a number of other factors which are known to increase the chance of mental health problems during pregnancy or post-natally

  • Having little or no support
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial stresses
  • Stressful work
  • Pre-existing health issues
  • Poor or little communication with family or friends
  • Women from other cultures or new to an area
  • Isolation/loneliness
  • Spending long hours on electronic devices
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Poor diet
  • Having a history of abuse
  • Lack of exercise/fitness
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Your birth experience ... a new report from the UK shows a woman’s birth experience affects how she feels about herself, her baby and her significant relationship/s

It should be said that if you have any of these risk factors it does not necessarily mean you will experience mental health problems during pregnancy or post-natally, just that there is an a chance of this happening.