pregnancy and birth
Pregnancy and having a baby can be an exciting time. But, it can also be a time of immense pressure. There are so many changes happening to your body and the very nature of bringing life into the world places demands on you to adjust your lifestyle.
All of these factors cause a woman's hormones to work overtime. Not only does this lead to a range of physical symptoms (including morning sickness), it can also lead to the amplification of certain emotions. It's not uncommon for women to feel more anxious and 'down' at this time. Some develop a mental health problem during pregnancy or within a year of giving birth - this is referred to as the 'perinatal period'.
Examples of perinatal mental illness include antenatal depression, postnatal depression, anxiety, tokophobia (extreme fear of childbirth), perinatal obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), postpartum psychosis and postpartum post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These illnesses can be mild, moderate or severe, requiring different kinds of care or treatment.