In a first ever study in UK to find prevalence of mental health problems during pregnancy; researchers found that 1 in 4 pregnant women had a mental illness. 545 pregnant women, over the age of 16 between November 2014 and June 2016 were recruited for the study in South-east London . Study noted prevalence of depression in 11% , anxiety in 15%, eating disorders 2%, obsessive-compulsive disorder 2%, Post traumatic stress disorder in just less than 1%, less commonly, bipolar disorder and other disorders.
We need to diagnose these conditions early during pregnancy as mental illness during pregnancy is associated with adverse outcomes for women and the pregnancy itself.
The study supports the importance of asking women during and after pregnancy about their emotional wellbeing by clinicians at each visit. Any emotional disturbances identified during such meeting needs to be a clinically assessed by an appropriate health expert to establish the clinical diagnosis and appropriate therapy.
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