Signs of Prenatal depression

While often pregnancy is thought to be an exciting time, everyone’s experience is different. It’s normal for women to experience fluctuations in their mood ahead of a major life change like having a baby, but for some spiralling negative thoughts can become overwhelming.

Research has shown that those who experience prenatal depression are more likely to develop postnatal depression so it’s vital a woman’s emotional wellbeing is monitored during pregnancy.
For friends and family it’s really important to look out for changes to a person’s normal behaviour. If someone is acting in a way that is out of character and that behaviour persists or seems to be getting progressively worse it’s really important to check in with them to make sure they’re okay.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of prenatal depression include:
  • Withdrawal from social activities 
  • Feelings of worry that persist
  • Obsessive behaviours 
  • Mood swings or irritability 
  • Feeling tearful
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of detachment from surroundings
  • Extreme tiredness or low on energy
  • Risky behaviour (eg. Using alcohol or drugs)
  • Loss of interest in sex
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Thoughts or suicide or self-harm
Expectant mothers with a family history of depression or have experienced depression in the past are at an increased risk of prenatal depression. Instability or problems in a couple’s relationship can also have a big impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing. 
Identifying something is not quite right is the first important step. There is plenty of support out there whether it’s friends or family, GP or midwife or counselling over the phone, in person or online.

Bupa has teamed up with lead researchers and specialists to develop a new online tool mummattersIt’s a great way for women who are pregnant or recently had a baby to do some simple checks to ensure they’re coping well and provides access to support services if needed.

Bupa Health Insurance

Struggling to cope? Bupa has partnered with the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) to offer the Parent and Baby Wellbeing Program. Support services are fully covered if you have hospital or hospital and extras cover with Bupa.

Find out more
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