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“Will my mood affect my baby?”
Occasional mood swings are ‘normal’ in pregnancy and beyond; it’s when they affect our capacity to cope that we need to address them positively. Some sources report that poor maternal mental health can have an impact on foetal development – but research varies. How we behave during and after the pregnancy can affect the environment the baby is growing in. Everyone is different, so ask for help as soon as possible. Consider the healthy treatment options above and adopt a lifestyle which promotes positive mental health.
“It’s ruining my relationship, what should I do?”
For some people, a new baby brings with it natural worries about the future for both partners. Fear of change to lifestyle, work, money and relationships can all create conflict, especially if they haven’t been talked about. Have a conversation about how you feel and what’s on your mind. If it feels like problems aren’t going away, organisations like Relate can help. If your relationship has become violent or abusive since you discovered you were pregnant or baby was born, arrange to have a private word with your midwife or contact an organisation like Refuge.
“If I have ante-natal depression, will I have post-natal depression?”
Some research suggests a link, especially if you had poor mental health before you were pregnant, but some women feel better almost as soon as the baby is born. Everyone is different so have a chat with your midwife or doctor if you’re worried.
“My doctor doesn’t understand, where can I get help?”
There are specific guidelines (CG192) in the UK to ensure you get the support you need from both your doctor and your midwife. If you’ve spoken to them but feel you’re not getting the help you need you can request to see someone else. You can also discuss your options when you attend hospital. Taking someone with you to your appointments can help you make your case, and organisations like Powher can act as advocates on your behalf.
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