Antenatal depression

I've been seeing a lot of postnatal depression blog posts recently, while I think it is fantastic that it is becoming a more recognized and thought about mental health problem, but little is known or documented about depression during pregnancy. I denied the fact I was pregnant until I was about 20 weeks, I wanted a baby so bad, but after three miscarriages, finally falling pregnant definitely took its tole on me. Pregnancy is, of course a emotion time. Mood swings and the general expectation that mums to be are supposed to be happy, over the moon, full of excitement and anticipation. This however wasn't me at all, I spent my days in denial, and having anxieties that things would go wrong with my pregnancy, I wouldn't be good enough, and I genuinely believed I wouldn't be good enough for E. All of these feelings, combined with the fact I had stopped taking my medication for my depression meant i got diagnosed with Antenatal depression

I found that there is very little emotional support offered to women during pregnancy, I tried to speak to my midwife and I was shot down. She made me feel like crap. which made it seem like my feelings and concerns weren't valid or accounted for. During pregnancy we are seen twice monthly, we have all of these different antenatal checks, but thinking back were you ever asked how you were coping emotionally? or even given the opportunity for your voice to be heard when you did try and discuss your negative feelings? To say the least I was left feeling isolated and inadequate! Which in turn made my depression worse, and it made it harder to open up to Sam. There is so many pregnant celebrity mums and pregnant models who look fabulous all the time, bounce back to there figures straight after giving birth, and I feel like that image is pushed up onto mums-to-be. The reality of it all is very different, I have spent most of my pregnancy being sick, in my pj's feeling sorry for myself. I've put on weight (not necessarily the amount that is set in guidelines), I've felt sluggish and irritated, and then there has been the feelings of self-doubt and depression. It doesn't sound so glamorous does it? 

As with postnatal depression, antenatal depression can strike at any time, and it isn't pinpointed to any specific stage of pregnancy. Whilst one mum might be feeling depressed from the onset, others may not feel it until the third trimester. I struggled straight from the beginning, Women who are prone to depression are more likely to suffer, but it can also be cause by a women's reaction to the massive lifestyle changes and the weight of the responsibility that parenthood can bring! However, antenatal depression can disappear quickly after the birth, however it is possible for it to turn into postnatal depression. Which worries me more, the last thing I want to do is have trouble bonding with E. Especially when I wanted her so much, and after everything we have gone through to get this far. It is hard. 

I have found the things that have helped me the most was communicating with Sam, I really struggled to admit that I was feeling more and more depressed, and the feelings I was having towards our unborn baby. I have hated pregnancy, I've never enjoyed it, but I didn't want to admit that, I want to have a good relationship with our baby girl when she is born, I really don't want to feel all this negativity. Hopefully when she is born my mood will change, I'll settle into parenthood, but until shes born then i'm not sure how I will deal or how I will feel.

2 comments

  1. What an honest and open post. I read a blog where someone had depression and they had to fight for support which they then had to wait for ages for. That is not a helpful system for someone that is managing to speak up about something difficult. I hope that once E arrives it will be everything you need to help you. x

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  2. Can't believe your midwife didn't take your concerns seriously. I didn't experience Antenatal Depression as I didn't have the time to think to be honest! We moved house twice, were planning a wedding and having a baby all at the same time, plus working full time - any time I wasn't busy with stuff, I was sleeping! However, it all hit me after the birth of O.
    I'm so glad that your fiance was supportive of you in such a difficult time. It's gotta be hard for our fellas!!

    I've nominated you and your blog for a One Lovely Blog award over on my blog, I hope you can check it out and take part :) Looking forward to reading your post x

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