About 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given birth, experience a mental disorder, primarily depression, according to the World Health Organisation.
Who is at risk?
Poverty, migration, extreme stress, exposure to violence (domestic, sexual and gender-based), emergency and conflict situations, natural disasters, and low social support generally increase risks for specific disorders, but anyone can experience a mental disorder during pregnancy or after birth, including world-famous singers.
In an interview with Vanity Fair for its October issue, Oscar-winning singer, Adele revealed that she suffered postpartum depression after she had her son in 2012.
“One day, I said to a friend, ‘I f***in’ hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I f***in’ hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted. My knowledge of postpartum – or postnatal, as we call it in England – is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job. But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life… It can come in many different forms,” she told the magazine.
“I’m very available to depression. I can slip in and out of it quite easily. It started when my granddad died, when I was about 10, and while I never had a suicidal thought, I have been in therapy lots. But,” she emphasised, “I haven’t had that feeling since I had my son and snapped out of my postpartum depression.”
Signs of postnatal depression:
- Constant fatigue
- Lack of concentration and energy
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Loss of pleasure and interest
- Sleeping and eating difficulties
- Problems with bonding with your baby
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Thoughts of suicide and/or harming yourself.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.