How to Control Hair Fall During Pregnancy?

How to control hair fall during pregnancy

Hormonal changes during the pregnancy might affect your hair and it makes it thinner or thicker. As we know, hair is having natural life cycle. Some of the women might experience hair thicker around fifteen weeks of pregnancy. On the other hand, most of the women experience more hair fall during the pregnancy. This happens because of low level estrogen. At the same time, it is also happening because of hormonal imbalance during pregnancy and stopping oral contraceptive pill. Similarly, it is always common that women experience hair fall when their estrogen returns to the normal levels.

Get Info about causes for hair loss during pregnancy

Actually, physical change and hormonal imbalance might be responsible to hair fall and it is the temporary phenomenon until the baby born. Some of the reasons are there for hair fall during pregnancy such as

  • Poor Nutrition
  • Illness
  • Usual hormonal changes
  • Deficiency in thyroid hormone
  • Genetics too play a role
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Skin disease of the scalp

Some of the illness like ringworm and gestational diabetes might cause hair loss. Likewise, certain medications like drugs to treat depression, anxiety and high blood pressure might maximize risk of the hair fall. Suppose you observe maximized hair fall on medication then update it to your doctor. Hair changes during the pregnancy might result from changes in the hormone that is normal in the phase.

Basically, fluctuation of the hormone might interrupt or halt usual hair growth cycle Hypothyroidism characterized by the decline in production of the thyroid hormone in body. As we know, thyroid hormone is responsible to maintain basal metabolic rate, nails, hair and mental health. Skin conditions and allergies might affect scalp because it is contribute to thinning of the hair as well as hair loss. Terminating usage of the birth control medications or other birth control method might cause hair loss. Remember one thing; hair loss is not the medical emergency. If you are finding any excessive hair shedding during pregnancy then try to consult with your obstetrician.

According to the studies says that, women body require more nutrition during pregnancy. Insufficient intake might lead to the hair loss. At the same time, shortage of vitamins, minerals and protein in body might be considered as the contributing factors. Vomiting and nausea in first trimester may result in the poor nutrition. If you want to avoid hair loss during pregnancy then you are advisable choose the best shampoo for pregnancy because it is beneficial to increase your hair growth.

Useful and safe shampoo to avoid hair loss during pregnancy

If you are a newbie to choose shampoo to avoid hair loss during pregnancy then you are advisable to follow some expert advice. Some of the research says that some of the conditioners and shampoo contains ingredients that are harmful for growing baby.

Reading ingredient list on conditioner or shampoo is one of the first things when you buy shampoo. The shampoo must not contain below ingredients such as

  • Ethylparaben
  • Sodium Methylparaben
  • Butylparaben
  • Propylparaben

This kind of the ingredient is dangerous to infant health because it might disrupt the hormonal balance. Expert suggests using natural conditioners and shampooing because it might keep your locks luscious and provide excellent hair growth during pregnancy. You can look at the natural ingredients like shea butter because it might prevent hair from losing moisture and prevent hair loss. At the same time, coconut oil is the extremely powerful ingredient to seal moisture to hair follicle. On the other hand, Aloe Vera is really helpful to fix hair loss issues and you can be also mixed with shampoo and conditioners. The best shampoo must contain below natural ingredients like

  • Avocado oil
  • Shea butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Jojoba oil

According to the studies says that avocado oil is having tons of the vitamins like potassium, Vitamin D and E that is necessary one for hair health. The best shampoo must contain specific ingredients like cassia, calcium oxide, rosemary oil and lemon. During pregnancy, there might be increasing in level of estrogen hormones. Your pregnancy might not complete with safe and natural hair care product. The finest and best shampoo contains natural ingredient like lemon, lime and peppermint which has no sulfate.

Recommendations to your hair during Pregnancy and after delivery

There are number of things, you must consider when you are looking to reduce hair loss or have healthier hair during pregnancy.

  • Initially, consult with your health care provider to make sure that proper balance of the hormones.
  • At the same time, you are advisable to avoid hair weaves, cornrows, pigtails and tight hair rollers because it might stress and pull your hair.
  • Try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables that contain antioxidants and flavonoids because it is offering protection for hair follicles.
  • You should use conditioner and shampoo which is having silica and biotin.
  • When your hair is wet then it is fragile so try to avoid tooth combs. Suppose you are looking to use blow dryers and other kinds of heater hair instruments then use cool setting.
  • At the same time, supplement your diet with specific nutrients like biotin, vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, zinc and vitamin E.

Importance of choosing best shampoo during pregnancy

If you are searching for best shampoo for pregnancy, then be sure that your shampoo is free from parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, synthetic fragrances which might contain phthalates and methylisothiazolinone. Before you plan to buy shampoo, do some search that is really beneficial to you. Choosing safest shampoo is necessary one because hair follicles might offer entry points to your skin. Follain is the sephora of chemical which is completely toxin free hair care products.  You can also read review that is on online so that you can get guidance to figure out the best shampoo as per your desire. Choose trusted site to buy safe shampoo during pregnancy to avoid hair loss.

How to sleep better when pregnant?

A woman’s important span of time in her life is pregnancy. During the time of pregnancy, a woman may face some difficulties. Before falling asleep, you may fight with your bed for trying to make yourself comfortable to get into sleep. Because of pregnancy, you might be struggling in your usual sleeping forms. Your regular sleeping positions will be work no longer in these certain times. There are a number of reasons are for the discomfort in your sleep. To avoid that follow some sleeping position which will make you some comfort and helps to get good sleep. When you are pregnant your body will face a variety of changes. It leads to disrupt your normal or usual position of sleep. Some of the reasons make you feel discomfort includes enhanced size of stomach, back pain, heartburn, default to breath and sleeplessness.

Some sleeping positions might give you comfort

There are certain positions that might help you to get you the much-needed rest. During pregnancy sleep in the position “sleep on the side” (SOS) otherwise sleep on your left side which is, even more, a better position. When you are asleep on your left side, then it will raise the capacity of blood as well as the nutrients to attain the placenta and your little baby. Once if you have a problem with back pain, use the ‘sleep on side’ position with placing a pillow under your abdomen.

While sleeping, make sure that you keep a pillow between your legs, and keep the legs and knees bent. Whenever you are experiencing the heartburn while sleeping in the night, try to hold up your body with pillows. In the late pregnancy, a person might get shortness in breath. At the time of shortness, try to sleep on the side with propping up pillows. Even after following these steps you might not get comfort sometime while sleeping. If any of the positions don’t suit you, try to sleep on your back or stomach, which you used to do before. Your usual sleeping type might help you some time to get into the good sleep. Keep it in your mind that you should not sleep in the same position for the whole night. Make sure that you are rotating your body which makes you feel good and buy best mattress for pregnancy suggested by doctors.

Avoid some positions of sleeping

Some of the sleeping positions you should avoid always in the time of pregnancy are sleeping on the back and sleeping on your stomach.

Sleeping on your back- If you are sleeping in this position you might be facing problems like backaches, breathing, the digestive system, haemorrhoids, and low blood pressure and sometimes it may cause a decrease in the circulation of blood to the heart and your baby.

Sleeping on your stomach- When the time increases, abdomen goes through some physical changes which lead to more difficult to sleep on your stomach. So better to avoid sleeping in these positions which will help you to keep in your comfort zone. A pregnant woman must go to bed as much as earlier because they need to get some extra sleep. Body changes and discomfort make it more difficult to fall asleep for long hours. On can get 7 hours of sleep for that at least they have to spend 8 hours in the bed.

Mattress matters while sleeping

A well prepare mattress makes you more comfortable while sleeping. Below listed mattress are the best mattress for pregnancy.  Loom & Leaf- It is most liked by the people and suggested for the pregnant woman. It is available in the two firm options which are medium and Firm 8. These help to accommodate them with different body types and make to feel the preferences. Nectar Mattress – It is available in the medium-firm 6, those who are looking for an average price it is a best budget mattresses for them. Regardless of their weight, it suits for all women. It doesn’t make any noise when holding more weight or rotating while sleeping. It is easy to move and rotate as it weighs less only. Some of the other good mattresses are Casper wave, Bear mattress, Brooklyn Bedding Signature, The Wink Bed.

What tea to drink during pregnancy?

tea for pregnancy

During your pregnancy time, there is a need for you to show some extra care in choosing your products. Few womens would like to taste different types of tea to have a better drinking experience. But before having it, there is a need for you to know whether you can drink a tea during pregnancy? Most of the tea products are considered to be safe at the same time other tea is not. Even you may be the lover of drinking plenty of tea for a day there is a need for you to reduce them into 3 to 4 cups a day. You can limit the intake of caffeine and you can take up to 200mg per day.

Normally, as like the other types of food there are also some drinks that the pregnant women should avoid. When you are pregnant, then you need to predict out the best tea for pregnancy before you starting to utilize. If you are pregnant for a first time, then you wants to take lots of care because immediately you can find out lots of changes in your body, not all the food and tea would support you.

How can you intake tea as a good medicine?

The interesting fact is that when you know the correct combination of mixing the tea with other ingredients, then it supports for retrieving you from some sort of restlessness and makes you to feel pleasant and happy always. Few of the tea that you can consume during pregnancy

Healthy ginger tea: The Ginger tea is considered as the herbal tea. It is best for the pregnant women to drink.  It is recommended for the women who have vomiting and nausea sensation. It knows to calm up your stomach that might helps you to face the morning sickness and other related health problems that you face during pregnancy.

Limit black tea and peppermint or chamomile: You can consume both tea but you should know its limit when the limit exceeds then the problem would arise. When you have this both tea with limit then sure it acts as a best medicine for you to have it.

Colourful raspberry and read leafy tea: This tea would help you ease the labor pain. But there is a limit that you should know to maintain strictly. After giving birth you can normally taste that tea and enjoy.

Best tea that you have during your pregnancy

While you are pregnant there is a need for you to segregate the pregnancy tea that you should use. Usually the herbal teas would help for hydrating your body when you are not drinking the plain water. As well as some would provide the important stuffs that is required during the pregnancy time that includes calcium, iron and magnesium.

Even the other combination tea might help you to get rid from the morning sickness as like the ginger and mint which would prevent the insomnia and it is used for promoting during the contractions during the labor. On the other part, there is a need for you to avoid few types of tea which would put you into the typical situation. For knowing it you can check out its ingredients that is added in it and consult with your doctor is it good for health or not.

Check once or twice before you purchase your tea?

When you make a search in the online there you can find out a lot of interesting varieties of teas that is available over there. Each team would have its own smell, nature and tempt you to have it. But before choosing them there is a need for you to know what are all the ingredients that is added along with it only then you would get some better idea about you can choose it or not.

Before starting to use new brands you can consult your doctor and have a suggestion from them that would sure give you a clear idea whether to have that tea or to avoid. Through doing as like this you can taste and enjoy your favorite tea as well as you can stay in the safer side during your pregnancy period.

SUPPORTING PREGNANCY MENTAL HEALTH

Latest News: I have been asked to work with a well known charity supporting positive mental health, delivering workshops and identifying areas where more education and resources may be needed locally – for me, this has to include ladies – and their families – experiencing depression, stress and anxiety in pregnancy.

This is wonderful news and means that, subject to funding, I may be able to provide local services and support for women faced with this mental health concern as well as investigate improvements to this website and its features.

If you have any ideas for improvements to this website, local services (in the UK) or how we can generally make these pages sparkle please get in touch or comment in the space below this article.

I look forward to hearing from you

In the meantime, you can use the pages on this website to learn more about symptoms, treatment and receive top tips when you subscribe to “Glow” my monthly newsletter.

keep sparkling!

Delphi | Founder

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Join the mailing list and receive a FREE gift by email – the Guide to Ante-Natal Depression, Stress and Anxiety.  You will also receive regular top tips to help you manage your stress and have a sparkling pregnancy.  Just click here.

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

If you’ve found your way to this online resource dedicated to the topic of ante-natal depression, stress and anxiety you will discover that over 1 in 10 pregnant women are believed to experience this condition.

Feeling low during pregnancy can be unexpected, particularly at a time when friends and family expect you to be ‘blooming’.  If you made it to this website because you are (or someone you know is) pregnant and experiencing unexpected symptoms often associated with stress, depression and anxiety, you’ll realise through from this first ever online resource of it’s kind that you’re not alone.

pregnancy

This website was originally founded by me, Delphi Ellis, in 2004 following my own personal experience. Research in to ante-natal or pre-natal depression has suggested that at least 1 in 10 women are affected by stress, depression or anxiety-like symptoms in pregnancy. Designed with the motivation to help even one person, this website now responds to people from all over the world.

You may be anything but sparkling about your pregnancy right now but this site has been designed specifically to provide you with useful information and resources including a FREE guide to ante-natal depression.

Here you’ll find information about possible treatment options as well as some of your experiences relating to depression, stress and anxiety in pregnancy. You won’t receive a medical diagnosis through this website, but I can respond to your posts, answer some of your frequently asked questions and provide private consultations by email and over the ‘phone. Please remember to speak to your doctor or midwife first if you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing.  I don’t coach you based on my own personal experience although you may find my story helpful.  I am a fully qualified Counsellor and Dream Analyst who specialises in Helping you Sparkle™.

Sign up to “Glow” my monthly top tips designed to help you manage your stress and sparkle in pregnancy.

Having weird pregnancy dreams? I have worked for over a decade helping people decode their dream messages.Find out how you can have your dreams analysed hereor take a look at one of my articles, featured in Practical Parenting & Pregnancy

Depression in Pregnancy.orgis a resource provided by Delphi Ellis. It is up to you, the client, to determine if the services provided through this website are suitable, a fee may be payable for services provided. All views expressed here are those of Delphi Ellis. The information provided through these pages is open to individual interpretation and is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare team. Please speak to your doctor before deciding upon any form of action which may affect your health or if you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing.

Friendly, professional, helpful advice.

Once your doctor has diagnosed anxiety, stress or depression in pregnancy it’s helpful to know you’re not alone.  Having someone to talk with may provide a useful outlet for what’s on your mind.  This website was founded by Delphi Ellis, a qualified professional specialising in stress management.

Delphi says “I can help you explore simple stress solutions through a professional consultation either by email or over the ‘phone.  You can talk to me about your current challenges and together we can build a positive action plan for managing your stress effectively.  As a helpful listener, I take the time to understand your situation and offer impartial, non-judgemental advice based on my professional training.  I am a qualified person-centred therapeutic counsellor which means you can be sure the service you receive from me is of the highest standard.

I started my career in bereavement working with those bereaved by murder and suicide. My work now incorporates helping those affected my many stressful situations, including pregnancy-related stress, symptoms of which I have personal experience.  I have also professionally analysed dreams for over a decade.  You can ask me about any of these topics, including tips on how to sleep better, during a professional consultation.

To reflect the fact that I am a skilled and trained professional, my services aren’t free. There are charitable organisations whose volunteers may be able to offer you relevant and helpful information free of charge – please feel free to explore these before choosing my service.”

During a consultation Delphi can:

  • offer a drug-free alternative to healthy stress management through professional, confidential advice
  • identify simple solutions for improving your sleep
  • explore a dream or nightmare you may have been having
  • help you kick-start your personal stress management, personal development plan

PLUS with every paid consultation receive a FREE email report including top tips for stress relief.

It couldn’t be easier to pay for professional, helpful advice.  Use the web panel on this page to pay through your ‘phone bill (coming soon exclusive to UK Clients) or click here to find out how to book an appointment through Delphi’s official website. (Opens in new window)

Please note this is not a 24 hour service.

If you feel you need urgent assistance please call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 or visit your local accident and emergency department.

Delphi writes:

“I’m a qualified Therapeutic Counsellor and professional Stress Management Consultant with a specialism for exploring signs and symbols of the soul, including analysing your dreams and nightmares. The concept of my work is not so much to promote positive thinking but to turn your attention towards taking positive action.

The process for managing your stress does not need to be complicated and I can help you identify some very simple steps to find balance in your life and offer you tools for positive living. Together we can talk through your current challenges then explore and focus on the most powerful, positive actions you can take to improve your situation.  You can also ask me about the dreams you remember, tell me about meaningful coincidences you want to explore or ask for top tips to improve your sleep.

I can work with you during a professional consultation either by email or over the ‘phone.   As a qualified person-centred counsellor you can be sure the service you receive from me is ethical and to the highest standard.

If you have decided it’s time to take positive action and want to fulfil your potential let’s work together to build you a calmer, happier and balanced way of life.”

Delphi Ellis: Achievements

* Expert guest: dream analyst ITV’s This Morning and presenter of Daybreak’s Guide to Sleep
* Author of The eGuide to Ante-Natal Depression, Stress and Anxiety
* Health and Social Care Award for Mental Health and Wellbeing (regional finalist
Specialities

I’m a qualified professional counsellor who provides:

  • Effective Stress Management techniques
  • Advice and information to help you manage and overcome stress, depression and anxiety during Pregnancy
  • Opportunities to explore meaningful coincidences
  • Specialist advice for recurring dreams and nightmares

Testimonials:

“With Delphi’s help, I have a new perspective on life and the strength to face new and challenging things in a positive way. Delphi has given me the tools to find myself again and provided the support I needed to get through a very difficult period. Thank you Delphi.” B.

Having strange dreams in pregnancy?  Dream Analysis has been a specialist subject of mine for over a decade.  You can also request a dream analysis by ‘phone or email.

“Delphi sent my [dream] analysis via email. The layout was lovely and really calming. The way in which it was written made it clear and easy to read and digest. The analysis itself was so accurate and made a lot of sense to me, and has helped me to resolve and make sense of some things that have reoccurred frequently in my dreams. I feel now I can move forward and work on these areas of my life. Many many thanks Delphi” Lisa.

The information provided on this page and through a consultation is open to individual interpretation and is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare team. Please speak to your doctor or midwife before deciding upon any form of action which may affect your health or if you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing.

The importance of breath

There is no doubt, even as we move swiftly in to the 21st Century, that depression continues to carry a stigma with it.  For this reason, the words depression and pregnancy hardly seem as if they should belong in the same sentence and yet the growing number of women reporting anxiety, depression and stress-like symptoms whilst pregnant seems to be growing, overtaking the original figures (around 1 in ten) suggested by research carried out by Dr Jonathan Evans from Bristol University in 2001.

It is encouraging, when I receive emails from members of the public from all over the world, to read how relieved they are to know they are not alone.  When I set up this website in 2004, following my own experience of depression and anxiety in pregnancy, I did it with one view in mind – if it helped one person I had achieved my goal.  It continues to help hundreds of women every week.  The free electronic copy of my Guide to Ante-natal depression is a popular resource not just for pregnant women but for friends and family who want to help someone they love affected by these unexpected but intense waves of emotion at a time when they were expected to be ‘blooming’.

The symptoms and causes of ante-natal depression are hard to define and can vary from person to person. You may have a history of a previous miscarriage, stillbirth or difficult labour or you may have not planned this pregnancy at all.  The most important thing, once you have spoken to your midwife or doctor about how you feel, is to plan how you will look after yourself in the forthcoming days, weeks and months.

I often say to eager student midwives who contact me to learn more about this topic that relaxation techniques are one of the most effective ways of coping with stress, depression and anxiety whether you are pregnant or not.  Knowing how to breathe, for example, as strange as it may sound, is key to managing tension which is starting to build.

When you are tense, your breathing can become shallow or you may even hold your breath for short periods without realising.  Bringing your attention to a steady flow of breathing can bring calm back in to the moment whilst (without even realising it) giving you an effective skill to prepare you for labour.

Effective Breathing Techniques

Observing the flow of breathing is an ancient technique which has been the focal point of meditation for many years.  Contrary to popular belief, meditation is not about sitting in an uncomfortable position whilst attempting to clear the mind.  It is in fact a way of paying attention without tension.  To do this, you could try the following:

  • Switch off your mobile phone and ask not to be disturbed.  You may wish to practice this breathing exercise with your midwife, friend or your labour partner.
  • Sit comfortably upright in a chair with both feet on the floor.  Rest your hands in your lap and tilt your head slightly forward.
  • Try to breathe through your nose if possible, but not in deep breaths – just concentrate on the steady natural flow of your breathing.  If you notice you are breathing very quickly, try to slow your breathing to a more natural and comfortable pace.
  • Listen and pay attention to your breath (breathing naturally) for five minutes.  Don’t worry if your mind wanders (this usually happens after about a minute) – just bring your attention back to your breath and continue the exercise as planned.
  • When you have finished the exercise, sit quietly and bring your attention back to the environment around you.

You may wish to ask your doctor or midwife if they know of any other breathing techniques suitable for pregnancy or consider joining a pregnancy yoga class in your area.

If you find it difficult to manage five minutes to begin with, try just one minute and work your way up to five minutes from there.  This is not failure, it is recognising a busy mind and taking positive action to calm it.

Enjoy your day.

The information provided in this article is open to individual interpretation and is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare team.  Please speak to your doctor or midwife before deciding upon any form of action which may affect your pregnancy or if you have any concerns about your health and wellbeing.  Depression-in-pregnancy.org is a resource provided by Delphi Ellis. 

Delphi’s Story

I married young at the age of 19 to a man of the same age, exactly a year after my father passed away. It was a foolish deathbed promise I made my dad to marry that young and was much to the nervousness of my mother who said it would never work. At the age of 20 I had a planned, and blissfully uneventful, pregnancy giving birth to a beautiful baby girl at 42 weeks, exactly two weeks over my due date. It’s fair to say the labour was not as easy as the pregnancy itself and after a realisation by the midwifery team that Elysia, my daughter, could not be born without help she was delivered by emergency caesarean in March 1995. I was in my element; a young mum, very proud of my little bundle of joy who has grown up to be just as perfect now as she was then. My marriage, though, was not so perfect and after deciding we’d married too young (don’t you hate it when your mother’s right?), my husband and I divorced in 1998.

In 1999, I met a man too much like my father, unreliable with a roving eye and of course I fell in love with him. I fell pregnant around 18 months later. However, I was told at 10 weeks pregnant that “the pregnancy was not viable” and it ended in a heartbreaking miscarriage; not surprisingly the relationship didn’t survive either.

I met and married my second husband, Dean, in 2003. After only a short time of being together, and having never fully recovered physically from my miscarriage I was asked to have a laparoscopy (a routine key hole procedure to investigate gynaecological problems) and was diagnosed with endometriosis – the lining of my womb was growing extensively on my bladder and bowel.

I’ll never forget the consultant’s words at the hospital when she reached over, held my hand as I was coming round from the anaesthetic and told me to “think beyond having children now”. I was crushed. Although in the early stages of a new relationship, we had of course hoped for children at some point in the future.

In an effort to relieve the symptoms of my disease and in the hope of a subsequent pregnancy, I started an intensive course of treatment (injections in to my stomach every four weeks) which shut down my ovaries and caused a “pseudo menopause”, meaning I had to take hormone replacement therapy tablets and endured hot flushes and cold sweats every night for six months. I was just 27 years old.

Just over a year later I fell pregnant – my new husband and I were absolutely overjoyed. In fact overjoyed is an understatement.

So, when I began to wash my hands excessively during the pregnancy, I didn’t really think anything of it at first. I had experienced symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder since my teens and had suffered times when life seemed to be conspiring against me. But I had no reason to think I may be suffering with depression during my pregnancy. Crying in pregnancy was “perfectly normal” and how could I be miserable when I as so happy to be pregnant? Besides, I’d never heard of such a thing as “ante-natal depression” so it couldn’t exist. Could it?

Soon after the initial excitement of discovering I was pregnant, my behaviour changed. I wanted to stay in bed all the time. I didn’t go out of the house and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Even with my husband and daughter, I was growing more and more irritable and withdrawn.

Once I passed the twelve week “watershed”, that gate of hope when doctors tell you your pregnancy is ‘safer’, I began to relax a little in to the pregnancy and the symptoms I experienced of checking my knickers for blood (when there was none or reason to think there may be) and over washing my hands seemed to ease.

Then at 18 weeks pregnant, I had what appeared to be a show of blood. On arriving at the hospital and after a student midwife’s bungled attempt to find the baby’s heartbeat, it transpired the baby was absolutely fine. I, on the other hand was not, and from that point on my pregnancy – and the welfare of my baby – was almost all I could think about.

Soon (although not soon enough), I was 32 weeks pregnant and a nervous wreck. I wouldn’t wear perfume or eat take-away in case I ‘contaminated’ the baby. I refused an eye test when the optician said he needed to put some dye in my eye to perform it even though he assured me the dye was less toxic than a pot noodle. I pointed out that I wouldn’t even eat a pot noodle whilst pregnant and made my excuses and left.

I was making weekly (if not more frequent) visits to the ante-natal ward to hear the baby’s heartbeat, although this rarely reassured me. I was eating just for the sake of it, and my weight increased from 11 stone to 13 stone in a matter of weeks. I was washing my hands repeatedly to the point where the skin was so tight and dry, my hands would bleed. (When I was talking to a journalist years later about this, we calculated between us that at its worst, my anxiety was causing me to wash my hands up to 200 times a day).

I was becoming increasingly paranoid and anxious, I began to think that the house we had just moved in to was haunted and I felt like everything – and everyone – was against me. I couldn’t sleep even though I was exhausted and I was crying, inconsolably, for what seemed like hours at a time.

Dean assumed it was my hormones and all part of pregnancy. This was his first experience of pregnancy and he didn’t know what to expect – but I did, and I knew I wasn’t well. (To this day, I feel for Dean that his experience seems as traumatic as mine). I took the bold decision to tell a friend, someone I’d known for over 15 years and who was also pregnant, that I felt incredibly anxious about my pregnancy and scared about what may happen beyond my control. She told me I attracted drama in to my life and if that was her, she’d tell herself to get on with it. I decided not to tell any more ‘friends’ or my family what was going on for fear of a similar reaction.

However, eventually, I decided to see my midwife and tell her everything. The way I saw it, I had nothing to lose if I was going mad anyway. When feeling at my worst, I had even contemplated – just for a brief and irrational but scary moment – the possibility that if I threw myself down the stairs, they’d have to get my baby out. I then realised this could kill not only me but the precious cargo I was carrying and so seeing the midwife and telling her my thoughts was the only option available for me. Remember, I desperately wanted this baby and if it meant that I was sectioned to ensure his safety, then that was how it had to be.

Fortunately for me, she did not call the men in white coats. I sat in her office and explained what I had been feeling. I didn’t care how crazy I sounded, I needed help and I felt I had to confide in someone for my sake and the baby’s. My midwife, Zoe, sat and listened until I’d finished talking.

You can imagine my shock when, to my complete amazement, she told me she understood and thought she might know what I was experiencing. She explained that some women when pregnant, suffer from ante-natal depression – depression in pregnancy – and this can be for a number of different reasons.

In my case, my overwhelming fear of losing the baby because of my previous experiences combined with the fact I had fallen pregnant under difficult circumstances. Some women experience it because the baby is unplanned or unwanted. Some because it affects their weight- all sorts of reasons. I was not alone. I left her office that day feeling as if I could breathe again.

After that, I had good days and bad days, but on the bad days I kept telling myself that I wasn’t going mad and tried to remain rational. It wasn’t easy and in the end my husband took time off work in the weeks leading up to the birth so that I didn’t have to be on my own at home. When my son was born, I cried hysterically – I was so happy and I could hardly believe he had made it. Little Harvey was born by caesarean in March 2004, two weeks early.

I began to research ante-natal depression by looking it up on the Internet, but could find little information. I discovered a research project carried out by Dr. Jonathan Evans, a senior lecturer from Bristol University, in 2001 and read this repeatedly with the relief of knowing I was not alone. At least one in ten women suffer from depression in pregnancy.

My midwife said there wasn’t enough known about ante-natal depression and asked me if I’d consider helping to set up a support group. I agreed and, having spoken to Dr Evans, agreed to write an article about it too. We all felt it was important to raise awareness of this illness and how important support can be.

Depression is an illness which requires acknowledgement, just like any other illness. If it hadn’t been for my midwife taking the time to listen, I honestly don’t know what may have happened at that time. I vividly remember the weight lifting from my shoulders when I heard her reassurances that I wasn’t a complete fruit.

This is my story but everyone is different, every situation unique. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has recognised the role of medical professionals in spotting ante-natal depression and your midwife and doctor have a role and responsibility to look after both your physical and mental wellbeing in pregnancy which I talk about later. You can read these guidelines here.

My advice to anyone who recognises some of the experiences as I have described them here is to ask for help. Speak to your doctor and/or midwife. I doubt you’ll regret it.

I hope my story will go some way to helping people who can relate to some if not all of my experience to know they are not alone. I can look back on my experience and feel positive that some good has come from it and I hope that the subsequent pages will offer you some helpful insights in to what can help.

Helen’s Story

Below is a real life article which has been submitted for publication with kind permission of the authors and the copyright is owned by this website.  Please do not use the content of any of these articles without express permission of Depression-in-pregnancy.org.we can not endorse third party websites which may be mentioned in articles provided.  This article has been published with the kind permission of the author. 

I had my first child in December 1999 – it was a very stressful and long labour resulting in an emergency c-section as my son was in distress. All ended well but I was very scared to have another child. Eventually I got up the courage as I approached 40!

Having had a miscarriage in March 2004, I discovered I was pregnant again in January 2005 I was very nervous of a repeat. Thankfully all went well and I was very well and excited until 25 weeks. Suddenly I woke up one night breathing fast, sweating and feeling as if I was choking. I had a couple of other ‘attacks’ over a few nights – it escalated until I was scared to sleep.

I would lay awake worrying, I was sure I was going to die and baby too. I tried to explain my fears to others – but got the stock ‘ you should be excited’ statements and little understanding. I got more and more tired and very low, terrified of the long nights, anxious and stressed. I didn’t want to see people but forced myself to carry on for the sake of normality and my 5 year old son. I looked on the Internet and found The Depression in Pregnancy web site, read it and felt reassured I was not alone, it gave lots of positive information.

I exchanged a number of emails with Delphi, founder of depression-in-pregnancy.org) and was very reassured to learn that I had no higher probability of pnd than any other new mothers – this was great news as I was very worried my fears would continue after the birth too. Delphi also arranged for a Support Advisor from the local Hospital to contact me, She came round to my home to discuss my fears and took me around the hospital – we especially visited the Operating Theatre where c-sections are performed – this particularly helped to address my concerns.

My doctor prescribed anti-depressants – I did not want to take these as the side effect leaflet scared me and arranged at my own expense (as my doctor had a 4 month waiting list) to see a counsellor – an ex mid wife, she helped me to express my fears and talking really helped me. After the birth (another emergency c-section!) I was elated. My daughter is now 15 weeks old. I am very happy and the stresses have all melted away.

I remain very thankfull to this service for giving me hope and an explanation for my fears and supporting me so well where no other support was available.

Helen.

This story has been reproduced by kind permission of the author.
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