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Why Mental Health During Pregnancy Deserves More Attention

One in four expectant mothers experience mental health problems - yet they are often not spoken about.

In recent years years, a slow stream of dialogue concerning postnatal depression has opened up. Celebrity mums including Chrissy TeigenSerena Williams and Sarah Michelle Gellarhave all spoken candidly about the effects the condition during a time period widely assumed to be one of the most joyful in life.

While it's encouraging that the conversation has opened up, perinatal mental health is often not talked about. The term refers to the changes in mental health during pregnancy and it's more common than many of us might think. 

Perinatal depression is just as important to recognise

Earlier this year, a study by King's College, London found that one in four pregnant women experience mental health problems, a figure higher than was previously presumed. Conditions detected in the study ranged from depression (11%), anxiety (15%), eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder (both at 2%) and PTSD and bipolar in less than one per cent.

More recently, a new short documentary film, Perinatal Positivity, was launched to educate women about the importance of talking about any mental health challenges they feel during pregnancy. Filmmaker Emma Lazenby told us that, during her research, it became apparent that the education pregnant women receive often lacks in the realm of mental health. 



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