If you followed my blog during my last pregnancy, you will know of the worry I experienced on a daily basis about that little baby growing inside.
Anxiety in pregnancy can be because of a number of things. Maybe you’ve had a long journey to get pregnant. Maybe, like us, you have suffered miscarriages. Maybe there is no reason at all and, let’s face it, with those raging hormones, we don’t need much of a reason, do we?
I remember crying with fear at my 36 week appointment with my consultant, begging her to get the baby out there and then, I seriously believed the baby was safer out than in me. She calmed me down and managed to persuade me to carry on for another two weeks, which we did.
Then, after Baby G was born, I spent most of my hospital stay in tears because of the enormity of what had happened and what we had been through to get there yet the midwives were totally unsympathetic towards me and didn’t even ask, let alone try to understand why I was so upset.
Charity Tommy’s has produced a suite of new films and revamped the information on their website to raise awareness of the importance of maternal mental health.
Although primarily they’re a medical research charity working to prevent miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, they also provide lifestyle and health advice for all parents-to-be on topics like exercise, nutrition and mental health.
It comes as a surprise to many, that between 10 and 15 per cent of all pregnant women experience mental health problems. Unfortunately these issues are less likely to be spotted during pregnancy than at any other time meaning women, like me, are suffering unnecessarily. Another real driving force for producing this new content is the fact that a third of postnatal depression actually starts in pregnancy but goes untreated so symptoms are allowed to manifest.
The video, named The face, follows the story of a pregnant woman who exemplifies the real-life experiences of anxiety and depression felt by many women during pregnancy and early motherhood.
Tommy’s wants to see mental health treated on parity with physical health in pregnancy and urges women to look for help if they feel upset more than they feel happy.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety include feeling sad, hopeless, tearful, irritable and losinginterest in things previously enjoyed. Some of these are also common symptoms of pregnancy which can make it difficult to identify a more serious problem. Persistent feelings that lastbeyond a couple of weeks should be checked out by a health professional such as the midwife, GP or health visitor.
Tommy’s has developed information for women around mental health in pregnancy, including advice on when you should look for help. Visit www.tommys.org/mentalhealth
You can see The Face’ launch video here:
The 10 other videos, documenting the wide-ranging personal experiences of mums, can be found here.