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City Pregnancy
Counselling & Psychotherapy
A safe space to discuss pregnancy, pregnancy-loss and related issues, in the heart of the City of London
Crisis Pregnancy Help

Antenatal Depression

There are many emotional responses that a woman can feel on learning that she is pregnant, whether planned or unplanned. Whilst the perception is that women should be overjoyed and ‘blooming’, often the reality can be very different. Less well-known and documented than postnatal depression, antenatal (‘before birth’) depression affects around 10% of pregnant woman and, if left untreated, it may go on to become postnatal depression (although in many cases it disappears upon birth).

Women who have a previous history of depression are more at risk of developing antenatal depression, but it also affects those with no previous history. Pregnancy is a life-changing and emotional event for women, who have to cope with changes to their hormone levels and to their body’s appearance, as well as changing roles and responsibilities. It may also bring up issues from their pasts, such as their own experience of being parented. Some or any of these can, for any particular woman, trigger antenatal depression. 

Feelings of sadness and depression during pregnancy should not be ignored. It can be a time of opportunity, with the right support, to find new ways of understanding and integrating life changes, and to enhance emotional capacity in preparation for the time of birth and bonding with the infant. The counselling and psychotherapy offered by CPCP offers expectant mothers, and their partners, the space to recognise and understand the emotional and psychological processes taking place, and to resolve any difficulties that they may be experiencing. If you or your partner are, or are worried that you or she might be, suffering, from antenatal depression and would like to talk to someone about how you are feeling, you can contact CPCP using the contact details that appear on this website. Other sources of information and support can be found at the PANDAS Foundation and on mumsnet.

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