KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) shares strategies to manage the mental health challenges faced during pregnancy.
1. Mental health: Guide
Understanding more about mental health challenges in pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth are usually seen as a special time in the life of most women. But sometimes, instead of feeling excited and joyful, many women find themselves dealing with low mood and anxiety (also known as postpartum depression).
This is not surprising as pregnancy is a time of significant psychological adjustment as the mother adapts to physical changes and emotionally prepares themselves to take on a new role to nurture a new life.
Risk factors for postpartum depression
Pregnancy is a time of significant psychological adjustments. This can be a daunting experience for anyone, especially for new mothers who are carrying their first baby.
When does postpartum depression occur?
How to know if you are suffering from postpartum depression?
If you’re having symptoms of depression or anxiety for most days up to 2 weeks, or if you’ve difficulties functioning in your daily life, you should seek help so that you can continue to care for yourself and your loved ones.
2. Mental health: Screen
Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale questionnaire (questionnaire and scoring method to be provided separately)
3. Mental health: Support
Mental health tips for before, during and after pregnancy
Re-wiring your thoughts: Building up mental resilience
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one common method that is used to assist people who might be experiencing low moods and symptoms of anxiety. Sometimes our thoughts are not always helpful and there can be negative patterns that cause us to feel stuck.
CBT helps to recognise these negative patterns and then ‘re-frame’ these thoughts to change the way we feel. One method is to spot the ‘distortion’ in our thoughts. There are many thought distortions that can happen every day. By recognising and changing some of these negative patterns, mood and anxiety symptoms can be improved.
Below are some common distortions that might apply to the way you feel and some ways to overcome them:
Where you can go to for help