A new survey from the United Kingdom finds that the number of women who suffer from depression while pregnant may be grossly underestimated.
The survey, conducted by the parenting website BabyCentre, found that 30% of pregnant women had five or more characteristics of antenatal depression. These signs include feeling anxious, losing interest in normal activities, and being so unhappy they cry.
BabyCentre polled 1,000 mother and pregnant women. They also found that 42% of participants never told their doctor or midwife about their depressive symptoms. The main reasons why was a guilty feeling, embarrassment, or concern others would judge them. A quarter of those who had depressive symptoms never discussed it with their partner, close friend, or relative.
Women who had depression during pregnancy also said that their biggest concern in life regarding their newborn was developing postpartum depression, ahead of money issues or their baby’s health.
When asked about their biggest worries regarding life with a newborn, developing postnatal depression was mentioned by more women who felt depressed in pregnancy than any other concern. This came ahead of not having enough money or their baby's health.
“There is still a stigma attached to depression and our research shows that admitting to suffering from symptoms whilst pregnant is something many expectant mums feel unable to do,” Sasha Miller, international managing editor of BabyCentre, said in a statement. “As a result they aren't seeking the help and support they need from health professionals. This needs to change.”
Almost a third of pregnant women suffer strong feelings of depression and anxiety, according to a new survey The poll found that many are struggling with signs of antenatal depression — depression during pregnancy — but are afraid to tell their doctor or midwife.
The poll found some 30% of mothers-to-be frequently experience five or more key indicators of the condition.These include feeling anxious for no reason, losing interest in day-to-day activities and feeling so unhappy they cry.
If the figure was extrapolated across all pregnancies, this suggests almost a quarter of a million women a year in the UK suffer from depression during pregnancy.