Why is antenatal depression such a taboo subject?
By Samantha Jones

When I found out I was pregnant at 3 1/2 weeks, there were so many questions running around in my overwhelmed mind. I didn’t know what to think and feel. I know joy wasn’t really involved. Scared of the ‘what ifs’, I didn’t know how to cope. I put on a brave face for so many weeks, eventually at the time of the 12 week scan I was burnt out. With antenatal depression such a taboo subject, it was hard to open up.

Why is antenatal depression such a taboo subject? Why is antenatal depression such a taboo subject? This needs to change. There's support out there and I'm so proud of myself for admitting I needed help.

Emotionally I couldn’t cope. Far too many negative thoughts were running around my head and I didn’t feel the joy that my family felt. I felt helpless and unworthy to be a mother. These feelings lasted, despite me still buying things for the baby, I didn’t feel connected in the slightest. At the time the baby felt like an object growing inside of me.

I spoke out

Since talking about my experiences I know that this is more common than people realise, but with antenatal depression such a taboo is attached to speaking out about struggles during pregnancy. This needs to change. With extra hormones and antenatal depression, unfortunately it can put people into the darkest of places. I considered suicide for several weeks but I am so proud of myself for admitting that I needed help.

There is support out there. New services are available for expectant mums, which are usually called ‘Perinatal Mental Health Services’. The psychiatrist at this service gave me hope. We outweighed the pros and cons of starting antidepressants and for me they helped massively.

The right support

I booked a private gender scan at 16 weeks and with the help of the antidepressants I was able to enjoy the scan. I was happy but I know that if I didn’t get the right support then I could still have been in a dark place.

Things aren’t always beautiful in pregnancy but sometimes it is the small things that we have to be grateful for. My baby isn’t born yet but I know with the right support I will cope.

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