Mental health in pregnancy
Health

Mental health in pregnancy

The statistics are shocking. Mental health in pregnancy is a hugely important topic and one that needs to be talked about more.

Pregnancy is said to be one of the most joyous experiences for a mother, and when this is the case it is truly wonderful. However, some mothers face personal experiences and emotions that are extremely challenging.

Statistics for mental health in pregnancy

Approximately 20% of pregnant women will present with or have a history of mental illness.

Women, who have had a previous episode of a serious mental illness, are at an increased risk of developing a postpartum onset illness.

Access to specialist perinatal mental health services is fragmented and contingent upon geographical location. Within Ireland around 80% of women have no access to specialist perinatal mental health services.

For more info, visit hse.ie

mental health in pregnancy

If you find yourself in need of support, are anxious or feeling down, please ask for help.

Some symptoms of perinatal depression include:

  • Feeling tearful without knowing the cause
  • Physical and emotional changes in a woman’s body, e.g. fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and breast tenderness
  • Unstable emotions: anxiety, hopelessness, fear and sadness
  • Moody, impatient or irritable, feel restless, have trouble concentrating and suffer from insomnia
  • Many women feel confused about struggling with sadness when they feel they should be happy they are having a baby
  • Appetite may increase or decrease
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Avoiding social contact and isolating oneself
  • Feeling suicidal or planning your suicide

For more information or to seek help, visit Nurture

Visit MentalHealth.ie for a list of nationwide services.

With thanks to Deborah Hadley, student midwife at University of Limerick for this infographic.

More like this:

Look after your mental health
Tips to combat anxiety
When it’s not just ups and downs

ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.

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ASK JESSICA

Q. I’m would like to start an exercise programme that will benefit my emotional health as much as my physical health, but I don’t know which type of class would be best. Should I consider choosing from yoga, pilates, tai chi, or could you recommend a class, please?

A It’s great that you have decided to get into exercise. The benefits to you are going to be great. You’ll sleep better, have more energy, better skin, reduced stressed, not to mention all the amazing physical benefits of your clothes fitting better, and looking healthy, trim and toned! My advice to you would be to try them all. Even if some don’t offer pay-as-you-go sessions, if you get in touch directly with the instructor, they will almost always let you try it out first to see if it’s for you. All of the above things that you mentioned are great for mental health, so it really will be a personal preference as to which you go for. On top of the classes you mention, all forms of exercise will give you great mental rewards so consider the not so obvious interval training sessions, bootcamp, and circuits too, as you will also feel on top of the world after a class like that.