Maternal Mental Health
When a woman has experienced a mental illness before pregnancy, she is more at risk of developing new mental health concerns or having her current mental health symptoms worsen during and after pregnancy.
It is important for health care professionals to know a woman’s mental health history.
Maternal mental health concerns during and after pregnancy are common. Approximately one in five (1 in 5) women experiences mental health concerns during or after pregnancy. These concerns can include depression or anxiety during or after pregnancy, obsessive compulsive disorder, and psychosis. The general public, parents to be, and parents with new children need to be aware of these concerns so that women can receive the support that they need.
The prenatal and postnatal periods are times of emotional and hormonal fluctuation. If a woman has several of the following symptoms for more than two weeks, it could mean that she needs support:
When a woman has experienced a mental illness before pregnancy, she is more at risk of developing new mental health concerns or having her current mental health symptoms worsen during and after pregnancy. It is important for healthcare professionals to know a woman’s mental health history. The following steps will help a woman remain healthy throughout her pregnancy and receive the support that she needs if concerns arise.
Every woman is at risk of mental health concerns during and after pregnancy. All women, during and after pregnancy, should be screened for mental health concerns using the Edinburgh Portpartum Depression Scale.
Mental health concerns during pregnancy can lead to negative impacts on a woman, her baby, and her family. These negative impacts can include long-term effects on the child’s health and development. Early intervention can mitigate these effects.
Help is available for women who are experiencing mental health concerns during and after pregnancy. The earlier a woman gets support, the more effective treatment will be. Getting help for mental health concerns is an important step to recovery. There is nothing to be ashamed about if you need support.
Call 911 if you are having thoughts of harming yourself and/or others.