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    While most women feel that pregnancy and new motherhood is a happy time, another group of women find that they cannot feel happy at all. About one in five women have some level of depression in pregnancy – they worry, lose confidence, don’t sleep well and become exhausted.

    They think they are unlovable and unattractive, their relationships go wrong and they can feel numb, trapped and dull with little interest. They may feel irritable and angry. They may have a continuous bad mood.

    When you feel depressed, it may seem that no one cares or that nothing else matters. We don’t usually know the reason for having a low mood or depression in pregnancy. If you have had depression in the past then there is a risk it will happen again when you are pregnant and afterwards.

    There are many ways to treat depression in pregnancy. You can manage mild to moderate depression by having a well-balanced approach to life. Having a good diet and exercising will help you to stay well and overcome your low mood and depression. Some women need anti-depressant medication to control the difficult effects of their depression.

    If you are taking antidepressant medication and you unexpectedly get pregnant, talk to your GP before you stop taking your medication.

    A bad day is normal. A bad week is not. Talking to someone you trust is helpful. Accepting help early on means you could have a quicker recovery. If you are anxious about your pregnancy or the birth of your baby or had a previous difficult birth, then talking with your GP or midwife will help. If you feel anxiety or panic attacks are affecting your ability to do your normal activities then seek help early from either your GP or support midwife.

    The Rotunda offers women a supportive counselling service. Talking helps women to develop a sense of perspective about the situation and allows them to think about what steps they can take to get back a sense of control in their life.

    We have a dedicated midwife who is happy to offer support and information to any woman who needs it during their pregnancy and after the baby’s birth.

    To make an appointment with the mental health support midwife, telephone  01 817 2541 or  01 873 0632.

    Excellent information on mental health in pregnancy and postnatal mental health is available on the Royal College of Psychiatrists website:

    Although it might sound like your pregnancy is going to be nothing but a long string of emotional crises, this is not the case for most women. You will have various ups and downs, but you will usually be able to manage these, especially if you have a supportive and involved partner. Remember that most pregnant women experience all the emotions you are going through.

    They are perfectly normal and you shouldn’t allow yourself to get stressed by them. Pregnancy is a wonderful experience, so don’t allow normal emotional changes to ruin that experience for you!

    Finally, remember that one of the main tasks for you during the nine months of your pregnancy is to mentally prepare yourself for motherhood. To successfully prepare yourself for becoming a mother you need to be completely honest and open about these feelings.

    in Mental Health