A third of women suffer from symptoms of antenatal depression, survey finds

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20th October 2015 14:32 - Health

Findings from a recent healthcare survey have revealed that nearly a third of pregnant women suffer intense symptoms of antenatal depression and A third of women suffer from signs of antenatal depression, survey findsanxiety. However, many of the people who suffer are too scared to alert their midwife or doctor.

According to data from the NHS, 15 per cent of women experience antenatal depression.

The survey revealed that approximately 30 per cent on pregnant women suffer from five or more symptoms of depression, such as feelings of anxiety, becoming uninterested in daily activities and crying. With this in mind, if this figure was applied across all pregnancies, approximately a quarter of a million women per year experience antenatal depression.

The researchers – who spoke to 1,000 mums and pregnant women from the parenting website, BabyCentre - also revealed that 42 per cent of women had not spoken to a health professional about their symptoms of depression. The respondents cited feeling guilty, embarrassed and being worried about being judged as the reasons why they did not consult their GP or midwife.

As well as this, nearly 50 per cent said that they did not want to be branded as ‘mentally ill’ and so did not speak to a professional, whereas 26 per cent had not spoken about their feelings with their partner, friends or relatives.

International Managing Editor of the BabyCentre website, Sasha Miller, said of the findings:

"Our study paints a stark picture of the alternative face of pregnancy - it's not all baby showers, blossoming bumps and baby moons.

"While pregnancy is an emotional time for any woman and occasional mood swings are normal, so many women experiencing so many symptoms so much of the time is a serious problem.

"Women feel under pressure to act like they are having a perfect pregnancy but the reality is very different for huge numbers of mums-to-be. “

When the respondents were questioned about their biggest concerns regarding being the parent of a newborn, developing post natal depression was cited more frequently amongst women who had experienced antenatal depression than other concerns, such as not having enough money and the baby’s health.

According to data from the NHS, 10 per cent of women experience post natal depression.

Separate findings released earlier in 2015 revealed that men are at an increased risk of depression.

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