The first things to do are the simplest ones. Try to open up and talk to someone about it – a friend, family member or your partner to start with.
Try to look after your health by getting plenty of sleep and rest. Try and prepare healthy meals and additional healthy snacks to keep your energy levels up and your blood sugar levels stable.
It can help to join an antenatal group. Having some company and sharing experiences with other women – at the same stage of pregnancy and with the same anxieties – can really help.
If you were taking antidepressants before getting pregnant, discuss with your doctor or psychiatrist whether you should go off them. Don’t just stop taking them without involving your medical team.
You will be more likely to experience antenatal depression if you have suffered from low mood and depressive episodes before. Your environment is a big factor so if you are living in a chaotic household, suffering from domestic violence (or having difficulties with your partner) or have no partner and no support network you will be at increased risk of antenatal depression and substance abuse.
If you take illegal drugs or alcohol you are at increased risk of antenatal depression too.
If you think your antenatal depression is more serious, or if you can’t manage it on your own, then it’s really important to get professional help. Remember this is a really common problem so don’t be embarrassed or worried to ask for help.
Your doctor might suggest you try a depression medication. Don’t try medications on your own since they may not be suitable during pregnancy.
There are support groups in the community for pregnant women suffering from anxiety and depression. Your Midwife or Doctor can connect you with these.
Watch our video from Melissa who is pregnant and had strong feelings of anxiety and depression during her first trimester:
You will be more likely to experience antenatal depression if you have any of the following:
If there is a history of mental illness in your family, or you have any concerns how this may affect you or your baby, have a chat with your Doctor or Midwife. Essential Parent’s GP talks about this situation in the video below.