Prenatal depression: How and where to get help

Experiencing depression while you’re pregnant can be a very lonely feeling, but there is help available. Whether it’s opening up to your partner, friends or family or seeking support online there are many ways to take the first step towards recovery.

GP or midwife

Often your GP or midwife will be attuned to signs of prenatal or postnatal depression. Talking to a medical professional can be an important step in assessing your symptoms and accessing treatment.

Support groups

There are plenty of support groups online, over the phone and in person. There can be comfort in knowing you’re not alone and that other expectant mums are experiencing the same thing. It can also be an opportunity to share support strategies and information on help that’s available.

Bupa Parent and Baby Wellbeing Program

Bupa, in association with PIRI, have a range of support services for expecting parents who are Bupa members and may be feeling overwhelmed or struggling to cope with their new baby. The program helps to identify the signs and symptoms of depression or anxiety and find the right care for you. Psychologists and counsellors can provide support in person, over the phone over email. There is also personalised follow-up support including group programs for adjusting to parenthood and sessions for parents and baby where available.

Psychologist

Speaking to a trained professional in a safe environment can also be an important step. ‘Talking therapy’ can help combat some of the negative thoughts and feelings associated with prenatal depression. 

Medication

In serious cases of prenatal depression expecting mums might be prescribed antidepressant medication which along with other support can help manage the symptoms of prenatal depression. There are medications available which are safe to take while you are pregnant.
 
We know that those who experience prenatal depression are more likely to deal with postnatal depression. Seeking help and support early is the best way to navigate through what is already a very challenging time for expectant parents.

Bupa mummatters

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