Health

1 in 4 moms suffer from postnatal depression or anxiety – higher than previously thought

New data has revealed that as many as ONE in FOUR of moms are experiencing symptoms of postnatal depression or anxiety following the birth of their child – higher than previously thought.

Signs of depression or anxiety may occur for moms within the first year after birth and symptoms of this include sadness, anxiety, worry and tiredness.

One in four moms suffer from postnatal depression or anxiety

The Statistics Canada survey analysed 7,085 moms who had given birth between January and June of 2018. They were also asked to complete a survey 13 months after their baby had been born.

The data found that 23 per cent of moms felt either depressed or anxious and this was higher among younger moms, those under the age of 25.

Meanwhile, researchers in the U.K. found that women who became mothers as teenagers or in their early 20s are much more likely to feel depressed during pregnancy than older moms.

Cerith Waters of Cardiff University told researchers at the British Psychological Society conference: “Young moms can be very vulnerable and it is clear from these results that they need much more support, not only after the birth, but before as well.

“Programmes aimed at helping young mothers need to be multifaceted, and they need to begin during pregnancy in order to address both the mothers and the child’s needs.”

Signs of postnatal depression and anxiety

Postnatal depression (PND) doesn’t discriminate – it can hit anyone at any time, moms and dads included.

Stats reveal it affects one in seven new moms and can occur after the first, last or after all pregnancies and usually occurs after the baby is born and can last up until a year.

Symptoms of postnatal depression include:

  • Feeling exhausted
  • Feeling Anxious
  • Having trouble sleeping
  • Having a low mood
  • Feeling down or a failure
  • Worrying about your baby
  • Crying excessively, feeling irritable, mood swings or panic attacks
  • Fear of being alone with your baby
  • Fear of being alone or going out

Currently, there is no known cause for it with many experts believing it’s down to the surge in hormones a woman experiences during and after pregnancy.

Postpartum anxiety can occur for no particular reason or could occur because either a mom or dad is feeling anxious about a certain situation or event.

Signs of postpartum anxiety include:

  • Feeling on edge
  • Having constant feelings of worry or fear
  • Struggling to sleep
  • Worrying about your baby
  • Panic attacks
  • General anxiety
  • Social phobia (fear of going out)
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Anxiety during pregnancy can often result in woman being at greater risk for postpartum depression and may also affect pregnancy outcomes.

What’s more, up to half of people who have postnatal anxiety with suffer from postnatal depression at the same time.

If your anxiety is mild, your GP may refer you to talk to someone. For more serious anxieties, you made need treatment with medicine or psychological therapies.

Getting the support you need

If you or someone you know is struggling, then remember you are not alone. Have a look at some of our other stories on PND here and here for ways to get the help you deserve. Visit your GP as soon as you can to put together a mental health care plan.

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