Below are a list of frequently asked questions which may be useful. Remember to speak to your doctor or midwife if you have questions about your health and wellbeing in pregnancy, including any medication you may be taking.
Q. I think I may have ante-natal depression. What do I do now?
A. If you feel you can relate to some of the symptoms shown on this website, speak with your GP and midwife in the first instance about positive ways forward from here. They may signpost you to local services which can offer help and support or talk through some treatment options like counselling and/or medication suitable for pregnancy.
Q. What causes ante-natal depression?
A. The exact causes of ante-natal depression are hard to define – different factors could cause depression during pregnancy. These could be: * a chemical or hormonal imbalance greater than usually experienced during pregnancy * already suffering from depression or worrying about work, money or a relationship * fallen pregnant unexpectedly, the pregnancy may be unplanned or unwanted * an overwhelming fear of losing the baby, perhaps due to a previous miscarriage or stillbirth * feeling out of control of your body, e.g. gaining weight
Q. If I have ante-natal depression, will I get post-natal depression?
A. There is no concrete evidence to link the two – some people with a history of depression (i.e. prior to pregnancy) may feel depressed once the baby is born and for a period afterwards. There is also a natural period of transition when a baby is born often referred to as ‘Baby Blues’. Everyone is different and your doctor, midwife and health visitor are all there to help you.
Q. Are anti-depressants safe to take in pregnancy?
A. This website won’t offer advice on medication and discourages people from using unlicensed sites which aim to diagnose illness or suggest medicication. We recommend you have a chat with your doctor/GP if you would like to talk about treatment options which may be suitable for you in pregnancy.
Q. I don’t get on with my GP/doctor and I feel they don’t understand. What can I do?
A. There are lots of options available to you to receive support locally. If you feel your doctor is not helping your situation, you can ask to see another GP within the practice or have a chat with your midwife. If you still feel unsupported, you can ask to speak to the Practice Manager or ask to be seen by your consultant at the hospital’s ante-natal clinic where appropriate. In the UK, the National Institute for Clinical Excellence states very clear guidelines on how to support women who have mental health concerns during pregnancy and all medical professionals should now be aware of these and their roles and responsibilities to you. These include asking you a series of questions to help determine the best course of action which may help.
Q. I have heard that my mood in pregnancy can affect my unborn child. Is this true?
A. Your baby is as unique as you are and how he or she grows up will depend on a number of different factors, many of which will come back to the argument around nature versus nurture. No one can say definitively how children will turn out, I can only speak from my own experience – take a look at Everything and Doughnuts.
Q. How did this website come about?
A. This website started out in 2004 and is believed to be the first of its kind to approach the topic of ante-natal depression. The website started as a result of a personal journey by its founder, Delphi Ellis, and has featured in national newspapers, magazines and radio to raise awareness of this little known mental health concern in pregnancy. It has been known as Positively Pregnant since seen many changes in terms of content and design.
For the purposes of this website the terms stress, depression and anxiety are sometimes used interchangeably and this page should not be used to form a diagnosis. Please speak to your doctor or midwife if you recognise the symptoms described on this page.