Anticipating the coming of a new baby can be exciting, but it can also be a stressful time for mothers-to-be as they go through many physical changes and may experience emotional ups and downs. It is no wonder that many pregnant women experience baby blues and depression. Studies show that one in five women experience some depression symptoms sometime during their pregnancy. In fact, as many as one in ten develop full-blown clinical depression.
Dr. Clarice Hong, specialist in Psychiatry from Raffles Counselling Centre, explains that depression is a mood disorder which can cause such an extreme dip in your mood that it interferes with your daily activities.
“While depression is not uncommon, it is a source of concern during and immediately after pregnancy as it can affect the health of both the mother and the babys” said Dr. Hong.
As it happens, pregnant women with untreated depression are more likely to experience pre-term labour, spontaneous abortion and gestational hypertension or pre-eclampsia.
Dr. Hong shares eight tips to being happier during pregnancy and after:
- Get as much rest as you can. Sleep when the baby is sleeping.
- Do what you can. There’s no need to be perfect.
- Seek help from your husband, family, and friends.
- Make time for yourself to go out, meet friends or just spend time with your husband.
- Talk about your feelings with your husband, family, and friends.
- Talk to fellow mothers and learn from their experience.
- Avoid making major life changes during pregnancy or right after giving birth to reduce unnecessary stress.
- When big changes can’t be avoided, arrange for support and help in your new situation ahead of time, so that you can have an easier pregnancy.
Dr. Clarice Hong is a specialist in Psychiatry from Raffles Counselling Centre in Raffles Hospital, a tertiary care hospital and the flagship of the Raffles Medical Group, a leading private healthcare provider in Singapore and South East Asia.
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